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From Barriers to Benefits: Efficiency and Effectiveness of eGovernment

Date & Time:
16:00:00 - 17:30:00,
Wednesday 22 November, 2006


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

Data Dump to delete


  • Professor Helen Margetts,Professor Rebecca Eynon,Professor Alexandre Caldas
  • Name: Professor Helen Margetts|Professor Rebecca Eynon|Professor Alexandre Caldas|Emilio Aced-Félez|Michael Blakemore|Soumi Papadopoulou|Edna Pasher|John Shaddock|Yair Sharan|Tal Soffer|Dr Trond Arne Undheim|Rita Wardenier|Irina Zinovieva
  • Affiliation: Oxford Internet Institute|Oxford Internet Institute|Director, Management Centre for the Electronic Government Network,
    Portugal|Head of the Inspection Unit, Data Protection Agency of Madrid,
    Spain|IDRA Ltd and Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of Durham,
    UK|Managing Consultant, PLANET SA|CEO, Edna Pasher PhD & Associates|Local Government Yorkshire and Humber, UK|ICTAF at Tel Aviv University, Israel|ICTAF at Tel Aviv University, Israel|eGovernment Unit, European Commission|Free University of Brussels, Belgium|Free University of Brussels, Belgium
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  • Bio: Helen Margetts is Professor of Society and the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. She is a political scientist of international standing in eGovernment and digital era governance, investigating the nature and implications of relationships between governments and the Internet and related information and communication technologies in the UK and internationally. She has published major research reports in this area for such agencies as the UK’s National Audit Office, in addition to important books and articles.|Rebecca Eynon completed her PhD at the Department of Sociology, City University, London in 2003 and continued to develop her interests in e-learning as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow. Rebecca has also worked at the Centre for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester, the School of Education, University of Birmingham and the Department of Sociology and Cultural Studies at Birmingham. For the past five years Rebecca has been engaged in research into e-learning and eGovernment. She is currently the project manager for the Breaking Barriers to eGovernment project, funded by the European Commission.|Alexandre Caldas was a Faculty Research Fellow at the OII (April 2004 – October 2005). He is now a Research Associate of the OII. He holds a PhD in Science and Technology Policy from SPRU, University of Sussex (2004). He completed his Master’s with distinction in Management of Science and Technology at the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal (1997). He was Director of the Science and Technology Park and ICT Coordinator for the Science and Technology Foundation, Ministry of Science and Technology (1994-2000). He was Guest Teacher at the London School of Economics, in New Media and Communications Department (2005-2006).|Emilio Aced-Félez has an IT background. He has got a Degree in Mathematics (Computer Science Section) and has worked in the ITC field, both in the private and public sectors. Since 1995 has been engaged in data protection matters, first in the Spanish Data Protection Authority and now in the Data Protection Agency of Madrid. During these years he has headed the Data Protection Unit both in the national and the regional authorities and has been in charge of the International Affairs Department. He has been a representative of the Spanish DPA to the Data Protection Working Party (Article 29 Working Party) and Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Europol data protection Joint Supervisory Body.|Michael Blakemore researches and consults on the ‘consumption’ of the Information Society, both at a European level and in the context of international development. His recent activities include knowledge production and consumption in SMEs, organisational strategy for geographic information in Egypt, information pricing and markets, and freedom of information, intellectual property and human rights. He is currently involved in the EU Information Society Directorate project on ‘Organisational Change for Citizen-Centric eGovernment’|Soumi Papadopoulou is a Managing Consultant in the Research & Innovation Unit of the International Group of PLANET SA. She has participated in several Research & Development projects funded by the European Commission’s IST Programme in the areas of eGovernment, e-business and knowledge management. The main projects include PICTURE, SAKE, IS2WEB, ONTOGOV, CB-BUSINESS, KNOWLABORATION, INKASS. She holds a masters degree in European Politics and Policy from the London School of Economic and Social Sciences.|Edna Pasher founded an international strategic management consulting firm in 1978. The firm provides customized consulting services to organizations both in the private and the public sectors, specialising in assisting their client organizations to speed up strategic renewal in a turbulent environment. Dr. Pasher earned her Ph.D. at New York University in Communication Arts and Sciences. In 1994 Edna Pasher PhD & Associates identified Knowledge and Innovation Management as the critical success factor for organizational renewal and have become the pioneers and leaders of the Knowledge and Innovation Management Movement in Israel. Edna is a founding member of the European SoL Sustainability Group and leads the Israeli SoL Sustainability Group.|John Shaddock has a background in strategic management in the public and private sectors and has worked on aspects of eGovernment at local and regional levels as both practitioner and adviser. eGovernment interests include the European context, cross-sectoral working and in speeding innovation in the public sector. Current European projects include UNDERSTAND (Benchmarking eRegion progress – leading the policy learning workstream), BENTLi (Benchmarking Digital Literacy) and DEMOnet (eParticipation research – jointly leading the Integration workstream).|Yair Sharan received his PhD in Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, in 1976. He is a Col. (Reserves) in the IDF. He specialties in defence R&D and strategic studies. He served as Science Counsellor at the Israeli Embassy in Bonn, between 1988-1992 and in the early 90s as advisor to the Minister of Science and Technology. In 1992 he joined ICTAF and has been active in studies in threat analysis, strategic planning and defence concepts. Major studies include non-conventional terrorism, dual use technologies and the Middle East peace process. Dr Sharan is a member of oversight groups in the Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies and the defence group of the recently established School of Governance.|Tal Soffer is a Senior Researcher at ICTAF at Tel-Aviv University, since 1992. She is an expert in the fields of Sociology, Labour relations and Education. Her special interests include: trends in the future labour market, future occupations and skills, gender and education. She also specializes in diffusion of innovation in the educational field, e.g. the Web-supported learning (e-learning) as well as the implication of new technologies (IT) on a different areas e.g. Internet and eGovernment. She is a consultant to policy decision makers in the Israeli Ministries of Education and Labour, as well as to others ICTAF clients, such as the EU, ‘NA’AMAT’ – The Israeli Women’s Labour Organization, etc.|Trond Arne Undheim is a National Expert with the DG Information Society and Media. He is the Efficiency and Effectiveness (E&E) lead for the eGovernment Action Plan – responsible for measuring and sharing. Trond manages EC-funded studies and projects on eGovernment barriers, Open Source, Organizational change, and Pan-European services. A Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Project Manager on software policy at the Norwegian Board of Technology, he was a Visiting Fellow at UC Berkeley in California. He has co-founded several start-ups, including a think tank. Undheim obtained his PhD (2002) in Sociology and Technology Studies from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.|Rita Wardenier is senior researcher at Free University of Brussels. She did policy research for public authorities and organisations such as the Belgian National, Flemish and Brussels Regional Governments; political parties and federations. She is the author of one book and numerous policy reports; she was the Belgian contributor to SME publications of the European network for Social and Economic Research (ENSR). Current research concentrates on the stimulation of the adoption of Information Technology in small traditional enterprises for the automatisation of administrational tasks and management reporting.|Irina Zinovieva is a senior researcher at Free University of Brussels. She did research and consultancy work for public authorities and private companies such as the European Commission; Council of Europe; Brussels Regional Government; Unisys Corporation, London office; Saville & Holdsworth Ltd, Paris Office. She is an author of three books and more than 20 articles and book chapters.