This page contains links to a variety of reference material that may be of relevance to the work of the TC.
Overview of OECD eGovernment Project (NB The extracts and books referred to in this note are available on the TC Kavi site.)
Steve Mutkoski January 10, 2011
The OECD eGovernment Project (main website located here) was launched in 2001 to “explore how governments can best exploit information and communication technologies (ICTs) to embed good governance principles and achieve public policy goals.” The Project’s main deliverables are a series of publications, nearly all available only for purchase.
These publications fall into roughly two categories, with one category dealing with country-specific case studies-- including e-Government individual case studies on Belgium (2008), Hungary (2007), Netherlands (2007), Turkey (2007), Denmark (2006), Norway (2005), Mexico (2005) and Finland (2004).
These case studies present some fairly predictable and non-controversial reflections on the state of eGovernment in the subject country. For instance an executive summary of the Belgium study includes available online includes two bullets noting that in Belgium “E-Government has mainly been positioned as a technical aspect of government reform” and “Recognition of the potential of ICT as a significant tool for public sector transformation and reform is gradually growing. ” Additionally, the recommendations are largely consistent with the discussions within the TGF TC to date, for instance the “Proposals for Action” for Belgium include one that reads “consider acquiring a systematic basis on knowledge of user needs and channel this knowledge into the design and development” (i.e., understand your users) as well as a second that reads “strengthen the strategic and operational links between their administrative simplification and e-government activities” (i.e., address organizational issues not just technical ones).
The second category of publications is more general eGovernment guidance and recommendation materials. Those publications include:
Rethinking e-Government Services: User-centred Approaches (2009)
Making Life Easy for Citizens and Businesses in Portugal: Administrative Simplification and e-Government (2009)
e-Government for Better Government (2005)
The e-Government Imperative (2003)
The most recent publication, “Rethinking e-Government Services: User-centred Approaches” is the one most relevant to the OASIS TGF TC work and merits some discussion (and possibly purchase and review by others on the TC). This publication is a roughly 200 page book, which begins with an executive summary which hits many of the themes discussed to date in the TGF TC. The summary notes that governments have too often regarded ICT as a “silver bullet” that would by itself “resolve lack of coherency in public service delivery” and that experience over the last decade has shown that ICT investments by themselves have had a limited impact. In particular, the summary highlights the generally low uptake of eGovernment services and contrasts that against similar uptake of e-services in the private sector. There is an express acknowledgement that many years of focusing on technology as a silver bullet has “overshadowed the need for organizational, structural and cultural changes in the public sector and the core recommendations of the book are along the lines of (1) better understanding users and then (2) feeding that information on users into “rethink[ing] the division of responsibilities and the organizational structures” of the government.”
Some of the conclusions and recommendations in the final chapter (chapter 5) of the book also show some commonalities with our discussions in the TGF TC. In particular, the chapter notes that the more successful OECD countries are “transforming their public sectors accordingly to enable the delivery of integrated services” and that there is a real need for “frameworks for designing, developing and delivering innovative and fully integrated services.” In a sense, that suggests a natural link to the work in the TGF TC, since the book (almost to overkill) highlights that public sector transformation needs to happen (the “what”) but it does not provide a roadmap or framework (the “how”) for such transformation can be achieved. In fact, such a roadmap or framework is one of the calls to action that the book makes.