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.



Monitoring and Evaluating User Take-up

Monitoring and evaluating user take-up are prerequisites for understanding user preferences and needs. Today, monitoring and evaluating are limited. Governments are, however, increasingly aware of the necessity to collect standardised and systematic information and data to be able to better target e-government development activities and increase user take-up. Governments have only within the last few years developed a national measurement framework and applied it in periodical (typically yearly) measurements. Most countries with a national measurement framework first implemented them and made them operational in the mid-2000s and forward. Measuring e-government service take-up is thus a new activity with limited experience and solid information and data behind it. Internationally, comprehensive user take-up and satisfaction measurement frameworks are still in their infancy. They can be categorised as either internally focused (quality assurance processes including leadership, strategy and planning, human resource management, process and change management, etc.) or externally focused (customer satisfaction, portal/site quality, and quality of service for web services). Benchmarking is done by the United Nations, the European Union, Brown University (United States) and Waseda University (Japan). The European Commission has since 2004 worked on a Union-wide measurement framework and in 2007 piloted a usercentric composite indicator in its benchmarking of e-government. The OECD is proposing to put the user at the centre of its benchmarking and to move towards benchmarking the ability of governments to use e-government to achieve better government as part of future Government at a Glance publications. Future indicators may investigate the correlations of e-government performance to core government business areas, as well as e-participation, and co-designed services.


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