This workshop brings together researchers and practitioners who are exploring ways to overcome the barriers that are hindering the progress of eGovernment in Europe, in order for governments to reap the benefits of innovation in this area.

eGovernment offers enormous potential for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of many public administration operations; and makes a significant contribution to the fulfilment of the Lisbon Strategy. Yet various EU Directives, communications and research initiatives have highlighted that there are numerous obstacles that can hinder progress towards realizing the promise of eGovernment. This workshop brings together researchers and practitioners who are exploring ways to overcome these barriers in order for governments to reap the benefits of innovation in this area.





Welcome, Introductions and Overview by Rebecca Eynon


Helen Margetts: Segmenting citizens: group based approaches to eGovernment

Until recently, putting services online has been the main priority of governments across Europe with little emphasis on understanding the needs of users or trying to improve uptake of services. As identified in a recent survey by the Breaking Barriers project; in order to reap the potential benefits of eGovernment there is a need to have a better understanding of the access, preferences and use of the Internet and eGovernment by citizens. Primarily using data from the 2005 Oxford Internet Survey this presentation will demonstrate a more nuanced version of the digital divide in the UK where the population can be divided into four groups: 1) avid internet users, who view the internet as a first port of call for any internet interactions; 2) less enthusiastic internet users who could be persuaded to interact online; 3) non users who are likely to find an intermediary if they need to and 4) adamant non users. The presentation will highlight some of the different strategies that should be utilised by Government to increase uptake and use of eGovernment by these four groups.


Michael Blakemore: Unpacking ‘citizen centricity’ in the context of eGovernment

The EU Information Society Directorate project on ‘Organisational Change for Citizen-Centric eGovernment’ is exploring the linkages between the three components in the title. An initial series of papers have started to unpack the themes, looking at the issues of citizens as customers, of the relative balance of business and bureaucratic approaches in governance, the production and consumption of technologies by government and citizens, and models of organisational change at various scales throughout Europe. The key outcomes from these papers will be placed in the context of outcomes from debates that took place in the first Workshop in Warsaw in early November.


Yair Sharan and Tal Soffer: eGovernment and LSGs in Europe

Since the use of eGovernment by citizens is still voluntary, their readiness to use it is crucial. Usage of services depends mainly on ease of use, proficiency, accessibility and civic engagement. In most countries there are disadvantaged groups that are less likely to use e-services: elderly people, disabled people, immigrants and low socioeconomic status groups (LSG). Since the rate of computer utilization by LSGs is low, web-based services are not available to a relatively large segment of European citizens. The pace at which countries deploy eGovernment services and measures to include LSGs vary considerably across Europe. Excluding such populations from eGovernment is a major cause of digital divide. The main objective of the ELOST project is to increase readiness to eGovernment and civic engagement among LSGs by appropriate policy measures (including future R&D). The project includes multinational study on policies, the status of e-services and tools for LSGs in Europe, as well as evaluation of the attitudes and needs of LSGs. A cross-cultural analysis is performed. A foresight study analyses the impact of emerging technologies on eGovernment; interim results are available. The findings will lead to policy recommendations for effective and inclusive deployment of eGovernment services in Europe.


Rita Wardenier and Irina Zinovieva: eGovernment for SMEs: Benefits and Barriers

eGovernment matters are more often addressed with regard to citizens and their needs. Yet, companies constitute a large group of regular users of eGovernment services whose needs should be given closer attention. Our contribution is based on a study of 178 interviewees: managers of 92 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), 49 multinational companies producing computer tools for small businesses as well as 26 experts from the intermediary sector and 11 leaders of eGovernment coordinating bodies at national and regional level in Belgium. First, we discuss the main benefits from the introduction of eGovernment services for companies as perceived by our interviewees. Then we focus on several barriers to effective use of eGovernment by small and medium-sized enterprises. We give a number of examples of why, when and how SMEs tend to avoid using the available eGovernment services and, particularly, the hidden costs of using eGovernment by SMEs. Government priorities when setting targets for launching eGovernment services is the second source of barriers. In this part we also discuss the consequences for SMEs from the Government choices of interface technology. A third group of barriers concerns the changes introduced in the existing eGovernment services and the efficient response by the companies. The cooperation between the Government and the information and communication technology companies in designing and programming the eGovernment services could be the fourth source of barriers to efficient eGovernment use if not properly tackled.


John Shaddock: The UNDERSTAND Project – Inter-regional Comparison

Presentation of some of the results of UNDERSTAND, the Interreg IIIc eRegion Benchmarking Project, which looked, inter alia, at barriers to eGovernment adoption from the perspective of the municipalities.


Emilio Aced-Félez: e-PRODAT: The integration of privacy in eGovernment

Data Protection is frequently identified as a barrier or obstacle for the development of eGovernment. In order to overcome these apparent barriers, the Data Protection Agency of Madrid is leading e-PRODAT a European Project in the framework of INTERREG IIIC. It aims to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences between public bodies concerning the protection of personal data used by Governments and Public Administrations for the provision of eGovernment public services. The Project has three main goals: The exchange of knowledge and experiences related to personal data protection in public bodies belonging to different European countries; the creation of an Internet based ‘European eGovernment data protection observatory’ and identifying best data protection practices already in place for eGovernment and building recommendations for improving data protection whilst maintaining all the benefits that can be obtained through the use of ICT technologies. The project is in its final steps and the presentation will focus on the results achieved and in the future work in the field.


Trond-Arne Undheim: Efficiency – Implementing the eGovernment Action Plan

A priority area in the i2010 eGovernment Action Plan, the E&E topic is maturing rapidly among member states and in the overall IT and policy communities. The successful conference on Impact of eGovernment on 13 September 2006 shows the interest is huge and growing. Evidence is also mounting and should now be shared rapidly between practioners, for instance using EC facilitated good practice exchange


Edna Pasher: Knowledge Cities

I propose to make a presentation on knowledge cities – a topic we have been involved in for a long time in our research and consulting work. A Knowledge City aims at knowledge based development through knowledge sharing made possible by continuous interaction supported by ICT.


Alexandre Caldas and José Carlos: The Security Barriers to eGovernment

Security is a crucial aspect on the provision of eGovernment services to Citizens and Firms, as well as within Government. The effectiveness and overall success of eGovernment services is critically dependent upon the security assurance and policies at the national and international levels. This paper will provide a framework on the provision of Public Key-Infrastructures for the deployment of eGovernment services, benchmarking the best practices at the world level. Empirical applications will be discussed with a particular focus on the Portuguese experience.


Soumi Papadopoulou: PICTURE: how to develop a successful ICT investment strategy

This talk will present the objectives of the PICTURE project, its approach and work done so far


Concluding Comments by Helen Margetts / Close of Workshop