Learner’s Submission: Whole-of-Government Approach in the Context of E-Government

“Whole-of-government approach is when government agencies and organizations share objectives across organizational boundaries, as opposed to working solely within an organization. A government is a system of interdependent subsystems that pursues interrelated goals generated from a common mission and vision that is often intended to guide a given society into prosperity through continuous improvement of social, economic and political welfare. This generates the need for the establishment of a framework that ensures unity of purpose and goals amongst the stakeholders that act as pillars in the development of such a society. The involvement of all the interested parties in decision making calls for establishment of appropriate mechanisms that accommodated all the parties without discrimination or exclusion. In order to achieve such a state of inclusiveness, it’s of great benefit for a given government to embrace the use of information and communication technologies to address the vast interest of all the stakeholders so as to ensure that there is not only free access to government programs and project but also ensure that there is availability of information relating to short term, midterm and long term plans that a given government seeks to undertake in the allocation, utilization of all the resources and that there are well outlined processes and procedures that allow all the parties that may be affected directly or indirectly by such plan to participate in formulating them. In order to attain such status, it is important for any government to use whole of government approach which is one of the trends in e-government. One of the benefits of whole of government approach is that it facilitates increase in the effectiveness of government responses as well as improved efficiency by reduction of processes and procedures in program management. Apart from that, there is better service delivery by integrating services and thereby saving time and resources. Moreover, there is increase in public value by promoting collaboration and coordination with private sector and civil society. In order to promote the whole of government, the existing government should ensure that there exists user friendly portals as well as websites, existence of links to other ministries and institutions, ensure that search results remain in government sites and also there is well defined sections such as e-services, and social media. This will facilitate social cohesion as well as improve inclusiveness in decision making.

Explanation of UN E-Government Survey

The UN e-government survey is the only report in the world that assesses the e-government development status of the 193 UN member states. The survey serves as a tool for decision makers to identify their areas of strength and challenges in the e-government and to guide e-government policies and strategies. Moreover, the survey provides a systematic assessment of the use of ICT to transform and reform the public sector by enhancing efficient, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, access to public services and citizen participation. The survey is produced by the division for public administration and development management (DPADM) of UN department of economic and social welfare (DESA). DESA publishes the UN e-government survey every two years. The survey began in 2003 with pilot in 2001. The survey is prepared by a DPADM team based at the UN headquarters in New York, USA, with support of researchers around the world. Over 95 researchers took part in the 2014 survey. DPADM survey team won the 2013 UN ‘online volunteering award’ for its collaboration with researchers around the world where the use of hash tag #UN go survey for the 2014 edition of the survey reached more than 3.6 million people.

The ultimate goal of the survey is to provide incentives for capacity building and also to provide policy guidance and serve as in impartial reference on how to utilize ICTs to transform governments and to enable sustainable development. It is from this background that the survey is used as a benchmark tool to measure e-government development and for capacity development, policy recommendations and good practices around the world. E-Government is the use of ICT and its application by the government for the provision of information and public services to the people. The use of e-government enables sustained development through greater efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, better access and quality of services, enhanced citizen participation, increase transparency through open data and accountability as well as enhances economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. The surveymeasures e-government development in all 193 UN Member States through the E-Government Development Index. This development index focuses on three components which include; online service index, the telecommunication Infrastructure Index and finally human capital Index.

Online service index is based upon four stages model starting with emergency presence, enhanced presence, transactionalpresence, and the connected presence. Human capital index has four indicators among them is the expected year of schooling, mean year of schooling, adult literacy as well as enrollment ratio.

Finally, the survey also focuses on the trends in e-government which are whole of government approach, e-participation, multi channel service delivery, expanding usage, digital divide and vulnerable groups as well as open government data.” – Joseph Macharia Kimani – Nairobi, Kenya

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