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Last year I was honored to participate in a meeting of the Working
Group on E-Government in the Developing World.  In the months that
passed, I observed Jeff Kaplan with the Council of Foreign Relations,
and Nina Hachigian, formerly with the Pacific Council and now with
RAND, work in a deliberate fashion via e-mail with e-government
leaders from across the developing world.  The work represents a
simple model for using the Internet effectively to involve people in
global policy deliberations mixed with an in-person conference to
launch the process.

What makes this report so important is that it represents the lessons
and a message from e-government leaders in developing countries to
other developing countries.  It also provides solid e-government
advice for all states and countries.  Put another way, e-government
leaders from developing countries seem to see hype and B.S. a lot
more clearly and are willing to point it out.  They can't afford to
make big mistakes, so they come at this with a healthy skepticism
from which we can all learn.

Steven Clift
Democracies Online

Available directly from:

The Working Group on E-Government in the Developing World
APRIL 2002

Roadmap for E-government in the Developing World
10 Questions E-Government Leaders Should Ask Themselves

>From the Pacific Council on International Policy, the Western Partner
of the Council of Foreign Relations

Please direct comments on the report to [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Introduction 1
Acknowledgements 3
Members of the Working Group on E-Government in the Developing World
The 10 Questions 6
1. Why are we pursuing e-government? 7
2 Do we have a clear vision and priorities for e-government? 8
3. What kind of e-government are we ready for? 11
4. Is there enough political will to lead the e-government effort? 12
5. Are we selecting e-government projects in the best way? 14
6. How should we plan and manage e-government projects? 16
7. How will we overcome resistance from within the government? 18
8. How will we measure and communicate progress? 20
How will we know if we are failing?
9. What should our relationship be with the private sector? 22
10. How can e-government improve citizen participation in public
affairs? 24
Conclusion 26
Appendix: Additional E-Government Resources 27

1 R O A D M A P F O R E - G O V E R N M E N T I N T H E D E V E L O P



Governments around the world are embracing electronic government. In
every region of the globe.from developing countries to industrialized
ones.national and local governments are putting critical information
online, automating once cumbersome processes and interacting
electronically with their citizens.

This enthusiasm comes in part from a belief that technology can
transform government¡¯s often-negative image. In many places,
citizens view their governments as bloated, wasteful, and
unresponsive to their most pressing needs. Mistrust of government is
rife among the public and businesses. Civil servants are often seen
as profiteers.

The spread of information and communication technology ("ICT") brings
hope that government can transform. And, indeed, forward-looking
officials everywhere are using technology to improve their

Defined broadly, e-government is the use of ICT to promote more
efficient and effective government, facilitate more accessible
government services, allow greater public access to information, and
make government more accountable to citizens. E-government might
involve delivering services via the Internet, telephone, community
centers (self-service or facilitated by others), wireless devices or
other communications systems.

But e-government is not a shortcut to economic development, budget
savings or clean, efficient government. E-government is not the ¡°Big
Bang,¡± a single event that immediately and forever alters the
universe of government. E-government is a process.call it ¡°e-
volution¡±.and often a struggle that presents costs and risks, both
financial and political.

These risks can be significant. If not well conceived and
implemented, e-government initiatives can waste resources, fail in
their promise to deliver useful services and thus increase public
frustration with government. Particularly in the developing world,
where resources are scarce, e-government must target areas with high
chances for success and produce "winners."

Moreover, e-government in the developing world must accommodate
certain unique conditions, needs and obstacles. These may include a
continuing oral tradition, lack of infrastructure, corruption, weak
educational systems and unequal access to technology. Too often, the
lack of resources and technology is compounded by a lack of access to
expertise and information.


This project was motivated by a desire to leverage e-government
lessons already learned in the developing world to maximize the
chances of success for future projects. The "Roadmap for E-
government" that follows highlights issues and problems common to e-
government efforts and offers options for managing them.

The Roadmap reflects the collective experiences that a group of
knowledgeable e-government officials from the developing world wish
to offer to others following the path to e-government. Officials and
experts who participated in constructing this Roadmap, collectively
called the Working Group on E-government in the Developing World,
came from countries in every region of the world.Brazil, Chile,
China, Denmark, Egypt, India, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, Tanzania,
Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Officials
came from cities, provinces or countries that have outstanding e-
government programs. Their keys to success and insights learned from
failures are embodied in the Roadmap.

The Working Group held an initial conference on 6-7 August 2001 in
Redwood City, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Working
Group members continued their dialogue via email over the subsequent

The Roadmap presents ten questions that these e-government
practitioners from around the world believe are crucial to
successfully conceiving, planning, managing and measuring e-
government. The Working Group suggests that e-government officials
ask themselves these ten questions before they embark on the e-
government path.

The Roadmap has two primary audiences: (1) governments and their
implementing partners that are new to the egovernment road and seek
guidance on preparing projects; and (2) governments and their
partners currently implementing e-government projects that want to
check their approach and progress against the Roadmap.

Lessons learned in Thailand or Mexico are as important as lessons
learned by e-leaders like Sweden or the United Kingdom. And for other
developing countries, they are often more important, and more

The Report is a practical tool, meant to be useful and used by e-
government practitioners. Thus, it is purposefully brief. It does not
attempt to raise all the important e-government issues, nor does it
analyze issues in enormous detail. Rather, the Report outlines ten
basic questions that any government pursuing e-government should

While it offers lessons drawn from the experiences of members, at
times the Report does not "name
names" where lessons - especially from failures - were shared in

The Working Group recognizes that there are no "one size fits all" e-
government solutions. Each
country - indeed each level of government within each country.has a
unique combination of
circumstances, priorities and resources. Therefore, the Roadmap is a
guide based on experiences to
date, not a guarantee of e-government success.

The questions presented touch on all phases of e-government, from
establishing a vision to
developing management structures, assessing readiness to setting
performance benchmarks and
measuring success. The Roadmap offers advice on whether and when to
include citizens in e-
government planning, how to understand an unwilling bureaucracy and
the importance of tailoring
programs to the technology that is available.

The fundamental theme of the Report is this: E-government is about
transforming government to be
more citizen-centered. Technology is a tool in this effort.

E-government success requires changing how government works, how it
deals with information, how
officials view their jobs and interact with the public. Achieving e-
government success also
requires active partnerships between government, citizens and the
private sector. The e-government
process needs continuous input and feedback from the "customers" -
the public, businesses and
officials who use e-government services. Their voices and ideas are
essential to making e-
government work. E-government, when implemented well, is a
participatory process.

The Working Group, through the Pacific Council on International
Policy, welcomes any and all comments about the Roadmap and, more
importantly, case studies or "lessons learned" from the experiences
of others in e-government. Please email us at [EMAIL PROTECTED]

It is our sincere hope that some of the advice contained in this
Roadmap will help guide officials down the exciting, but sometimes
difficult, road of e-government.
^               ^               ^                ^
Steven L. Clift    -    W: http://www.publicus.net
Minneapolis    -   -   -     E: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Minnesota  -   -   -   -   -    T: +1.612.822.8667
USA    -   -   -   -   -   -   -     ICQ: 13789183

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