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Rethinking e-Government Services

User-Centred Approaches

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Expecting substantial savings and improved public services – a trend further accentuated by the financial and economic crisis beginning in 2008 – OECD countries have invested in the development of e-government services over the past 10-15 years. However, despite the initial exceptional take-up, governments later saw low adoption and low use of e-government services which are still far from satisfactory today.

This report gives a broad description of the shift in governments' focus on e-government development –  from a government-centric to a user-centric approach. It gives a comprehensive overview of challenges to user take-up of e-government services in OECD countries and of the different types of approaches to improving it. The monitoring and evaluation of user take-up are also discussed, including the existence of formal measurement frameworks. Good practices are presented to illustrate the different concrete approaches used by OECD countries.

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Country Approaches to Increasing User Take-up

Governments have chosen different approaches to increase user takeup of e-government services. Experience among OECD countries shows that the choice of approach depends on political priorities and organisational considerations, for example as part of public sector reform efforts. These considerations are often addressed through the reorganisation of responsibilities within the public sector and the redesign of internal processes and procedures to achieve improved coherence and simplification. The balance between (public sector) internal and organisational considerations, and external outcomedriven considerations are reflected in the variety of approaches seen across OECD countries. The identified types of approaches identified are: an organisational and administrative simplification approach; a situation-bound approach; a participatory and inclusive approach; and a marketing and channel management approach. A number of countries are focusing on public sector efficiency and effectiveness issues through an organisational and administrative simplification approach which include reconsidering responsibilities for service delivery, simplification of access through portal organisation, and through administrative simplification. Other countries are focusing on creating services which address specific situations of users through tailor-made services or services organised by life events. Others again focus on enhancing participation and inclusiveness in service development using inclusive service delivery approaches or creating ICT platforms to support increased consultation and participation. Most countries have recognised the importance of improving marketing of services and the value of having a channel management strategy for better service delivery.

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