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Re: Group Note -- content and sections outline [forwarding note to DL on request from Jose]

From: <TGupta@worldbank.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2009 09:56:25 -0400
To: public-egov-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF2BB01B08.D7C84BD0-ON852575A0.004C1FE1-852575A0.004C93D5@worldbank.org>

Thanks for the chance to make some comments on the W3C e-government document.

The definition of e-government is a bit narrow I think.  It is more than " the
use of the Web or other information technologies by governing bodies (local,
state, federal, multi-national) to interact with their citizenry, between
departments and divisions, and between governments themselves".  Sure, in short
form it is the use of technology by governments.  However if we are attempting a
formal definition of e-government it needs to be broader.  This view leaves out
the transformative philosophy of e-government, which is to re-envision the role
of the government from being a bureaucratic/autocratic black box to helping put
the citizen at the center of government, not just for services, but also in
terms of participation - helping in some cases bring about a more participative
democracy.  I've thought a lot about this issue - as I find definitions are
important as they actually end up driving the nature of the work we do.  Pages
26-27 of the document below may offer some ideas as well

Regarding "The idea of government use of the Web and related technologies was
born in the late 1990's and culminated in early 2000 as an extension of
everything ?e?.
I don't know if I agree.  I am attaching a paper that Roberto and I worked on
that describes some of the history of e-government (CLAD conference) and may be
helpful (page 12)
(See attached file: The Role of E-9-26-08.doc)

I don't think the governance/public sector angle has come through completely.
For instance transparency, participation and accountability, are, from the
governance angle, key advantages to using technology in government.  You have
covered transparency through the section on open government data.  The section
on transparency could be explored more broadly, as the issue is broader than
just open data.  Participation is covered in the section on participation and
engagement.  This section is a lot richer than the transparency section which
only covers open government data.  However here you could also talk about some
"success" stories such as participatory budgeting in various countries..A
section on accountability would also be relevant and useful.

E-government issues
This sections brings up a number of important issues that have not been
highlighted before.  One important fact that has been hinted at but not
explicitly discussed is the emergence or convergence of several new actors in
the e-government arena as a result of globalization.  You have several
supra-national, national and subnational entities from the public sector,
private sector or some hybrid (such as associations, government agencies,
transnational public-private partnerships, heads of state, businesses and
business associations, NGOs, civil society, international agencies, and
policy-based organizations) around a major issue or several very specific
issues.  To a large extent, these bodies are working without any explicit
governance framework and interact on an ad-hoc basis, thus limiting
effectiveness and progress on policy issues. Web 2.0 and integrative
technologies could help address this problem.  Other issues that come to mind
include the importance of technology-informed legal and judicial reform (the
Myspace suicide) ,  and the lack of a service culture or technology education in
the public sector,

These are, but some of the issues that come to mind on a quick reading of the
document, and am sending it now in response to your request to send comments
before the Apr 26 deadline if possible.  Trust this is helpful.


Received on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 13:57:13 UTC

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