W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-egov-ig@w3.org > April 2012

RE: what do you mean, e-gov?

From: Brand Niemann <bniemann@cox.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2012 14:30:49 -0400
To: "'Vassilios Peristeras'" <vassilios44@gmail.com>, <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0d8c01cd26ff$5de7f110$19b7d330$@cox.net>
Please see:





From: Vassilios Peristeras [mailto:vassilios44@gmail.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 6:24 AM
To: public-egov-ig@w3.org
Subject: what do you mean, e-gov?


Just another input to a discussion that is clearly a moving target.
Therefore imho only an abstract definition aiming at the business level
could stand for more than 1-2 years.

Vassilios Peristeras



Copied from 

Peristeras V., Mentzas G., Abecker A., Tarabanis K., Transforming
eGovernment and eParticipation through ITI (editorial), IEEE Intelligent
Systems 24 (5), Sep/Oct 2009 .


  There is not a unique and commonly accepted way of defining eGovernment
and eParticipation. Analysing the multiple definitions that have become
available during the last 10-15 years from international organizations,
consulting companies, the academia and research community, we can draw some
interesting findings.

"EGovernment" appears as a term in the literature and practice in the
mid-late 90ies. "EParticipation" is adopted as a reference term later after
the turn of the century. It seems that "eDemocracy" has been for some years
an equivalent term to the latter but during the recent years gave its place
to eParticipation and is not that common any more. Interestingly, in the USA
"eGovernment" was never used in the same frequency as in EU but rather the
term "Digital Government" was preferred instead. 

Trying to abstract from the several definitions, we could define the
governance system as the union of the political and administrative
sub-systems exposing two major types of identifiable society-governance
interfaces that support relevant interactions:

.         the society - political system interface, mainly causing
interactions through the public policy analysis, formulation and selection

.         the society-administrative system interface, mainly causing
interactions through the public service provision process 

The use of ICT in these two interfaces could be respectively identified as
eParticipation and eGovernment (or Digital Government) (fig. 1). 

Figure 1: The two major interfaces between society and the governance system

The extend and way ICT have, could or should change or even revolutionize
these interfaces still remains a research topic and at the same time a tough
policy and implementation puzzle for governments around the globe.  In this
special issue, we focus on how intelligent technologies could facilitate
this process..







From: Zachary Tumin [mailto:rzt@pipeline.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 4:19 AM
To: 'Mark Montgomery'; 'Debmacp'
Cc: 'eGov IG (Public)'
Subject: RE: what do you mean, e-gov?


At Harvard Kennedy School we are using these working definitions to
distinguish different domains of teaching and research:


"E-delivery consists of efforts to improve the production and distribution
of public goods and services. Issues within the e-delivery domain include
e-services, use of digital technologies to improve organizational management
in government and non-government institutions, performance measurement,
innovation in government processes generally (including budgeting and
planning), government transparency, and cybersecurity.


"E-democracy encompasses digitally intermediated activities in which
citizens and organizations discuss public issues, organize, mobilize,
advocate, and communicate with one another and with government. Areas of
teaching and research in this domain include the impact and use of media and
social media; digital campaigning; electronic mechanisms for public
participation; and the effect of adoption of communications media on citizen
empowerment, economic growth, and innovation."


Hope this helps.


Zach Tumin




Zachary Tumin

Special Assistant to the Director and Faculty Chair

Program in Science, Technology and Public Policy


Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

John F. Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
79 John F. Kennedy Street | Cambridge, MA | 02138
voice: 617-495-1960 | email: zachary_tumin@harvard.edu | twitter: @zachtumin








From: Mark Montgomery [mailto:markm@kyield.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 8:59 PM
To: Debmacp
Cc: eGov IG (Public)
Subject: Re: what do you mean, e-gov?


Good point


By inclusion in the definition, intended to mean simply that if the goal is
a universal definition then it should acknowledge that it is indeed an
attempt at universality, and that sovereign local governments define to
specific mission. Did not intend including thousands of local laws embedded
in the definition, or reference to any other than perhaps governing
international law.


Several reasons come to mind, including


1) Legal jurisdiction trumps any definition from any voluntary standards
body anyway


2) The good will extended in such an effort may (hope springs eternal)
encourage participation and collaboration


In hindsight it 'might' also be prudent to at least encourage regional
sub-definitions, if not in the definition itself then in supporting
communications and behavior. It can be a good process for strategic clarity
and growth,


In the case of eGov this is somewhat different than other attempts at
universal definitions in global networks as it would be (perhaps a bit)
proactive towards adaptive computing within the neural network economy,
which at least a few of us futuristic leaning students consider to be
essential towards economic sustainability, and to the best of my awareness
anyway- in a general sense would be well aligned with individual



----- Original Message ----- 

From: Debmacp <mailto:debmacp@gmail.com>  

To: Mark Montgomery <mailto:markm@kyield.com>  

Cc: eGov IG (Public) <mailto:public-egov-ig@w3.org>  

Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:09 PM

Subject: Re: what do you mean, e-gov?


Include or reference in?

Things like laws...

External standards or reference architectures?


Deborah MacPherson

Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 24, 2012, at 5:35 PM, "Mark Montgomery" <markm@kyield.com> wrote:

One common irony with new disciplines and new technologies has been that we
have thought leaders in many disciplines coming together to work toward the
obvious benefit for the whole, yet are quite often very late to the game of
defining our own role and mission. Too often has been the case when
definitions are left to those with conflicts simply for lack of timely
response from those in the trenches, and/or inability to form a consensus. A
good rule of thumb seems to be that if you don't define it someone else will
sooner than later.


For many it is very difficult to consider any work credible that requires
resources but has not been defined by the champions, aka sales people.
Proper governance, use of public money, public trust, and fiduciary
responsibility require no less than a definition-- in many local governance
schemes expending resources requires a definition by rule of law.


Of course that does not mean to suggest that orgs, agencies, local gov't
should wait for anyone to play around with definitions for years (or
decades)-- I did that with standards and therefore cannot recommend it for
anyone other than the super wealthy and/or super spiritual living in a
mountaintop monastery somewhere (humor folks). If efficiencies are obvious,
as they often are, then of course any leader should grab the low hanging
fruit and define it for their own use -- especially given the fiscal
situations in most of the developed world. To not do so is irresponsible in
a world of massive needs and finite resources (dwindling, far from
sustainable at this point--at least there is some consensus on that).
However, that's also precisely how the world wound up with massive data
silos. So it's surprising that no definition has been created and released
by either this group or some other working the problem. 


I do have brief suggestions -- 


1) Of course definitions should include the rule of law as sovereign
governments determine, within guidelines of international law, treaties,
etc. Otherwise it would presumably be illegal in those jurisdictions anyway.
However as many here have long considered looking to future functionality,
universal compatibility will presumably be included.


2) Do not allow any special interest group or ideology to influence the
definition (even if social herding/majority--perhaps especially then), or
lack thereof (including government unions and corporations that often take
an activist role), as we've seen in other cases. 


In this case this would seem particularly important due to the potential
economic efficiencies involved with the common usage of the term itself
within the broader context in the world we live in, and in the era in which
we live in it. That is to say that proper governance would require
evidence-based stewardship, which at the moment the best evidence strongly
points towards the need for a definition that includes economic and
ecological sustainability. 

Of course that well intentioned inclusion alone threatens enormous powerful
interests-- any progress does at this point. I am not suggesting inviting
controversy, just that e-government and the standards employed should be
based on the best evidence available on the solid ground of unbiased truth
seekers; not the institutions or sponsors or guilds that employ them. May
seem obvious but requires constant vigilance still. 


3) Make an exceptional effort to be aware and understand one's own bias--
not restricted to conflict (academia, religion, industry, corporation,
government), but bias in the specific discipline, culture (sector,
geography, etc.) and even general philosophy. Advocacy has proven often to
be a double edged sword in this regard with some seemingly not aware that
they even have two edges, while others have proven remarkably skillful in
the application of both edges while claiming ignorance that a weapon even


Please allow me to pass on a warning given to me by one of the most
prominent and respected IT industry/academic leaders a few years ago when in
discussing adoption of semantics one on one in one of the most influential
orgs (paraphrase) -- "expect arrows in the back, for they will surely fly if
you are doing anything worthwhile in the modern era--it only demonstrates
that you are in the lead".


Of all the advice I have received in my career, this has proven to be the
most wise and accurate, particularly surrounding technical standards.


So good luck with the definition.



Mark Montgomery
Founder & CEO - Kyield
web: http://www.kyield.com
blog: http://kyield.wordpress.com
email: markm@kyield.com
Twitter: @kyield

----- Original Message ----- 

From: Gannon Dick <mailto:gannon_dick@yahoo.com>  

To: paoladimaio10@googlemail.com ; eGov IG (Public)

Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:03 PM

Subject: Re: what do you mean, e-gov?


It may seem like a bit dodgy, but for me egov is knowing what everybody else
thinks egov is, in the abstract.  I think the UN gets it (UN/LOCODES), not
much of a surprise, but oddly, the US CIA gets it too (World Factbook), then
again, Silicon Valley does not ("playing dumb" when it comes to local
customs and laws).


For example, this strange, and nowhere near complete book ...

The "technical truth" is nearly unrecognizable http://www.zooknic.com/ ;-)






From: Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@gmail.com>
To: eGov IG (Public) <public-egov-ig@w3.org> 
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:09 PM
Subject: what do you mean, e-gov?



For those who have been around the last twenty years or any

subset thereof, the question is not new. We each seem to

use the same word with different meanings (anyone else laughing hysterically
at this point?)


I was recently giving a talk and providing my own definition(s), and would
have liked

to point to the W3C definition of egov. But I could not remember whether we
agreed on one, and where it can be accessed.  Admittedly I have been away a
lot lately.


For example,  for me egovernance applies to both

the governance of civil society institutions (presumably the governance
democratic institutions that are ruled by first principles, and the
universal declaration of human rights, although in reality there may not be
many governments that do so), as well as the governance of online
communities, whereby the information and decisions are mediated by online
technologies, or something like that. But not sure if this has been

I do not remember any such discussions on list. Is it my memory failing me


Any threads/uri's someone could kindly repost if these questions have
already been asked?


if not, i would invite the IG Chairs to start off with some proposed
definitions, either on list or on wiki page possibly one for each term in
our shared vocabulary, (wiki? url.......), then  members (other than pure
lurkers) could introduce themseles and get their active participation in the

group going by entering their own definitions/variations, with possibly a
link to their profile

so that we can start getting to know each other meaningfully?:-)








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Received on Monday, 30 April 2012 18:31:27 UTC

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