UN E-Government Survey in Media
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The Web Measure Index is based upon a four-stage model, which is ascending in nature and builds upon the previous level of sophistication of a state’s online presence. The model defines four stages of E-Government Development according to scale of progressively sophisticated citizen services. As countries progress, they are ranked higher in the Model according to a numerical classification corresponding to the four stages.
The four stages in the Web Measure Assessment Model are reproduced below:
Implicit in this model is the integration of the public sector agencies with full cooperation and understanding of the concept of collective decision-making, participatory democracy and citizen empowerment as a democratic right.
To eliminate any discretionary rating introduced by a value judgment, by design, the E-government Index does not attempt to assess the services qualitatively. In this endeavor it is different from many other surveys, which combine access to, and delivery of, services/products and quality in one indicator. The purely quantitative nature of the web measure assessment assures minimizing of the bias inherent in combining qualitative assessments with quantitative measures. Furthermore, the Survey adheres to the same set of core features and services assessed in the past. This allows for consistency in benchmarking and measurement of states' e-government progress over time.
The Survey assesses the same number of functionally same/similar sites in each country to ensure consistency. In keeping with its conceptual framework of human development these were the Ministries/Department of Health, Education, Social Welfare, Labor and Finance which are representative of the services citizens require most from the government. Each ministerial site was assessed on the same set of questions.
The UN Global E-government Survey assesses Member States from the perspective of human development and the delivery of basic services to the citizen such as education, health, employment, finance and social welfare alone. E-government services such as e-procurement, which may be provided as part of a country's e-government initiative and measured elsewhere, are not the focus here.
Each year the Survey captures the year-on-year changes in the E-Government Development of countries as evidenced by their website assessments. The resulting E-Government Development rankings are a measure of the progress of a country relative to all other countries of the world. It should be noted that both, the e-government index and the web measure index are broad relative indices. As such, they should be read as indicative of the diffusion of e-government in the countries.
Web measure model: stages of e-government evolution
Emerging Presence is Stage I representing information, which is limited and basic.
The e-government online presence comprises a web page and /or an official website; links to ministries/departments of education, health, social welfare, labor and finance may/may not exist; links to regional/local government may/may not exist; some archived information such as the head of states' message or a document such as the constitution may be available on line, most information remains static with the fewest options for citizens.
Enhanced presence is Stage II in which the government provides greater public policy and governance sources of current and archived information, such as policies, laws and regulation, reports, newsletters, and downloadable databases. The user can search for a document and there is a help feature and a site map provided. A larger selection of public policy documents such as an e-government strategy, policy briefs on specific education or health issues. Though more sophisticated, the interaction is still primarily unidirectional with information flowing essentially from government to the citizen.
Transactional presence is Stage III that allows two-way interaction between the citizen and his/her government. It includes options for paying taxes; applying for ID cards, birth certificates/passports, license renewals and other similar C2G interactions by allowing him/her to submit these online 24/7. The citizens are able to pay for relevant public services, such as motor vehicle violation, taxes, fees for postal services through their credit, bank or debit card. Providers of goods and services are able to bid online for public contacts via secure links.
Connected presence is Stage IV which represents the most sophisticated level in the online e-government initiatives. It can be characterized by an integration of G2G, G2C and C2G (and reverse) interactions. The government encourages participatory deliberative decision-making and is willing and able to involve the society in a two way open dialogue. Through interactive features such as the web comment form, and innovative online consultation mechanisms, the government actively solicits citizens’ views on public policy, law making, and democratic participatory decision making.