E-Government in Bangladesh

Topics: Government, Public administration, E-Government Pages: 45 (8450 words) Published: January 24, 2011
E-Government: Expectation among Urban People in Bangladesh

S. S. M. Sadrul Huda [1]
Rumana Parveen [2]
Masud Ibn Rahman[3]

Abstract
E-Government can be used as an effective tool to create a relationship of trust and confidence between Government and people as well as to generate greater efficiency and responsiveness of Government. This empirical study observes people’s opinions and expectations about positive outcomes of e-Government. The researchers have identified the expectation level among urban people in Bangladesh about outcomes of e-Government and the variability in these expectations in terms of their demographic characteristics. The study re-emphasizes application of e-Government to improve Government performance as well as locates the critical factors to succeed in such application.

Key words: E-Government, expectations, efficiency, responsiveness, demographic characteristics.

Introduction

In many countries, disbelief, suspicion and distance may be created between Government and people from country to country. The origin of this is the communication gap between the two parties. When this happens, it becomes difficult for people to reach various Government departments for rules, regulation, security and other purposes. So issues about accountability and transparency of Government arise. In recent years Governments have embraced the idea of using information technology (IT) to improve services, a trend known as e-Government.

E-governance is more than just a Government website on the Internet. It can be defined as the application of electronic means in the interaction between Government and citizens and Government and businesses, as well as in internal Government operations. The purpose of e-Government is to simplify and improve democratic, Government and business aspects of Governance (Backus, 2001). Drucker (2001) defined e-Government as ‘the use of emerging ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) to facilitate the processes of Government and public administration. In reality, though, e-Government is about choice. It is about providing citizens with the ability to choose the manner in which they wish to interact with the Government; and it is about the choices Governments make about how ICT’s are be deployed to support citizen’s choices.’

Similar views about the meaning of e-Government comes from West ( 2000) : ‘e-Government is the delivery of Government information and services online via the Internet or through any other digital device on a continueous basis’. Heeks (2004) argues that e-Government can be considered as an augmented outcome of ICT usage in public sector in the terms of improving Government process (e-administration), connecting citizens with Government (e-service) and building external interactions (e-society). Though some researchers used the two terms ‘e-Governance’ and ‘e- Government’ interchangeably; recent views draw distinctive line between these two. According to Sheridan and Riley (2006), e-Governance as a broader topic covers the whole spectrum of the relationship and networks within Government regarding the usage and application of ICT ; e-Government as a narrower discipline deals with the development of online services to the citizen, - such as e-tax, e-transportation or e-health. They said e-Governance encompasses a series of necessary steps for Government agencies to develop and administer to ensure successful implementation of e-Government services to the public at large.

It has been observed that e-Government is improving the condition of people in many developing countries of the world by improving access to information useful to their daily lives, providing Government services, and offering new opportunities to participate in the political process (InfoDev and The Center for Democracy & Technology, 2002). E-Government enables people to get necessary information provided by Government as well as responses from Government officials in cases of...

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