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Cyber Quiz:-6: Dalziel (2004): Government Online reviewed by Dr D.C.Misra

By dcmisra ·
Cyber Quiz:Occasional Paper Review-6: Dalziel (2004):Government Online

This paper* views e-government in a demand-supply perspective.It presents the results from a time series of three international studies, including India, in 2001 (27 countries - 29,077 people
interviewed), 2002 (31 countries - 28,952 people interviewed) and 2003 (32 countries - 31,823 people interviewed) that examined important aspects of citizens'attitudes and behaviour regarding e-government.

The objectives of the studies were to: (i)Monitor the growth and establish new benchmarks against which to measure future growth of government online, globally and nationally,(ii)Measure the
`adoption curve' for the utilisation of government services online,from information seeking and citizen consultation, to engaging
in some form of transaction.,(iii)Understand whether government online is reaching the broader community in terms of demographics, and (iv)Determine any levels of fear associated with providing government with personal information over the Internet,and the extent to which this may be a barrier to government online uptake.(p-3).

The study, among other things, reports that in the 2001 study, 26% of the surveyed population reported using government online. In the 2002
study, this figure rose to 30% and remained at 30% in the 2003 study.

TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres) Plc, one of world's leading market research and information groups, developed a typology of government online use, as (i)Information Seekers (have used the Internet to get information from a government website),(ii)Downloaders (used the Internet to print off government forms that were then sent by post or
fax (e.g. tax form, form to claim government rebates),(iii)Consulters (used the Internet to express a point of view or participate in
community consultations with government,(iv)Providers (used the Internet to provide personal/household information),(v)Transactors
(used the Internet to pay for government services or products through the use of a credit card or bank account number, and (vi)Non-users (have not used the Internet to get or provide information or transact with government.(p-6).

According to the findings of the study, information seeking continues to be the major use made of government online (24%).Downloading
remains the second major use made of government online (11%).Consulting continues to be the least used government online service (at 4%). At face value, all these services have remained stable from 2002 when the incidence of Information Seeking was 24%, Downloading 11% and Consulting 4%.(p-6).

Dalziel argues that this series of studies provides global and national benchmarks against which individual government departments
can measure themselves in terms of (i)reach,(ii)adoption,(iii)demographic characteristics; and (iv)concerns over safety of personal information (p-9).

The study reports evidence of increased usage of government online over the last three years, but also observes that "there remains a considerable proportion of the population that have Internet access but have not used government online in the last 12 months.This raises a number of potential research questions. Are citizens aware that government online services exist? If so, what are there reasons for not using them? And are the information and services available online the type which citizens need or want?"

Finally, Dalziel notes: "The research supports the view that providing citizens with choice of access is not enough. The public need to be aware that the service exists,have the technology and
skills to access it, and the services themselves must be those that they need and want. While governments and cross-governmental organisations have made progress in their capabilities to offer
online services to citizens, more research from a citizen demand perspective is required to shape the service for the future." (p-10).

This is a very useful study conducted by Douglas Dalziel,Associate Director,TNS Social Research,United Kingdom.Its findings provide
useful insights into the ongoing adoption (and non-adoption) of e-government.A valuable lesson from the study is that the e-government should be a response to citizen demands and not provision of services for their own sake. Keeping this perspective in mind may not only be cost-effective but may also accelerate the adoption of e-government worldwide.

Dr D.C.Misra
November 5,2004
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*Dalziel, Douglas (2004): Government Online: A multi-country study of e-government usage, TNS Social Research, United Kingdom, available:
http://www.tns-global.com/corporate/Doc/0/MJHPECQDDJ94195OMMQKECDBC0/GovernmentOnline
-ESOMAR_Paper2004.pdf ? Copyright by ESOMAR? -The World Association of Research Professionals.

(Source:http://in.groups.yahoo.com/group/cyberquiz/message/117).

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