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E-Government: Towards G2C<>C2G Communication Leslie Regan Shade University of Ottawa Department of Communication

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Presentation on theme: "E-Government: Towards G2C<>C2G Communication Leslie Regan Shade University of Ottawa Department of Communication"— Presentation transcript:

1 E-Government: Towards G2C<>C2G Communication Leslie Regan Shade University of Ottawa Department of Communication

2 Talk Outline Overview of Trends E-Government E-Democracy Citizen Engagement C2G<>G2C Communication Your Time!?

3 Trends in KBE/S Globalization Media Concentration Growth in Supranational Forums (e.g., WTO, IMF) Growing Anti-Corporate and Citizenship Movements

4 More Stakeholders Want a Say in Governance NGOs, civil society groups, citizens Lobby groups on the left and the right Using traditional and new media

5 Changes in Government Funding Public/Private sector partnerships Downsizing in public sector Contracting/outsourcing work Privatization of functions Decentralization ‘New Economy’ Ethos

6 Risks…. security concerns privacy confidentiality stress overwork and/or under-work fraying social safety net

7 Challenges to Governance Engagement -with citizens and with media Widening consultation processes- stakeholder summits Use of ICTs

8 What’s Happening in Canada? Government Online Initiative - www.gol- Principles are to:www.gol-  inform the public  consider public concerns  develop policies  implement programs

9 Ensure that Government is… visible accessible accountable


11 “Good” Information free flow continuous open relevant understandable reliable

12 Other Government Initiatives Industry Canada’s Connecting Canadians  CAP  Volnet  School Net 

13 New Kid on the Block Broadband Task Force – What’s the content driving broadband?



16 Why Go Online? Branding Canada Better Service Better Government Stimulates e-commerce 24-7 availability

17 Big Issues Privacy Security Accessibility Consultation

18 Big Issues – Privacy Assuring privacy is key Many don’t feel secure doing online transactions…. Why e-commerce initiatives targeted consumer privacy needs - Bill C6

19 Privacy Elements Confidentiality Authentication Access control Integrity No fraud!

20 Big Issues-Access Technical infrastructure Social infrastructure  Literacy  Content  Design  Universal Usability

21 Accessibility Issues Persons with disabilities Low literacy rates No domestic access Canada’s Dual Digital Divide

22 Big Issues-Consultation User input into design of system Navigation Content Online or through focus groups?

23 Types of E-Government Initiatives o Citizen access to government information o Facilitating general compliance o Citizen access to personal benefits o Procurement including bidding, purchasing, and payment

24 E-Gov Services, cont’d Government-to-government information and service integration Citizen participation The Portal…”one-stop shopping”…

25 Pilot Projects for Consultation: U.S. "E-Government: The Next American Revolution“ Council for Excellence in Government move from 1990s dot-com dot-gov decade public wants to be a more informed



28 E-government Experiment “an experiment in interactive legislation” Senators Fred Thompson and Joe Lieberman topics”-- citizen access, standards and protocols, public kiosks, agency cooperation, public-private partnerships....

29 Comment from: Derek Ohlms Organization: Vanderbilt University Organization type: Academic Institution Date submitted:8 AUGUST, 2000 01:07 AM Topic: Study: Disparities in Access to the Internet

30 I am particularly interested in the availability and use of internet access through public schools and libraries. How many people per workstation do these sorts of forums offer? Also, who has access through facilities that place significant limitations on time and demand cash for access.

31 U.K.: People's Panel -1998 Part of the 'Modernising Government' initiatives Cabinet Office Modernising Public Services Group MORI (market research company) Birmingham University's School of Public Policy

32 People’s Panel 5,000 members of the public representative of the UK population: age, gender, region and a wide range of other demographic indicators quantitative qualitative

33 People’s Panel quantitative (telephone surveys, postal mail-in surveys, face2face interview surveys) qualitative (focus groups, workshops, depth interviews, citizens juries, deliberative polls)

34 E-Democracy Goals Use IT to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of democracy Increase convenience & timeliness of citizen/government interaction Reduce cost

35 Tony Blair’s New Hyde Park

36 E-Government is part of E- Democracy Informing citizens E-politics: use of Internet to improve effectiveness of political decision- making Facilitate participation in process

37 Skills Learning Citizens will have to learn how to use e- democracy They need the motivation Trust… Literacy Skills Access to ICTs

38 Vision of Democracy Using New Media interactivity global free speech free association sharing of information and knowledge challenges official public opinion

39 Ideal of Strong Democracy accountable governments informed citizenry citizen participation  in affairs of the state  in civil society

40 Design is Important people-centred participatory design citizen-centred evaluation of e- government services

41 Design…. inadequate pre-testing can lead to flops  ex: kiosk applications  location of kiosk  interface designs

42 Citizen Engagement & Action Case of the MAI

43 Seattle WTO Meetings Pics from Council of Canadians site

44 Local affiliates Pictures, videos, audio, articles E-mail updates Archives and links

45 Indy Media Franchises??!! International in scope Policy to start own indy media centre Working groups: technical and dispatch



48 The Right to Communicate & the Communication of Rights

49 Dot Force Civil Society Consultation

50 Problems with E-Democracy Misuse of IT Endless babble Overload can be dangerous Endless babble Accountability to citizens Endless and often mindless babble A constructive-free zone…..

51 Office of Learning Technologies project Building public space online Hub InfoCentral Netizen News Citizen Forums

52 Forum moderators are responsible for facilitating discussions and ensuring that the Civil Rules are respected. They reserve the right to take whatever measures are required to ensure the Civil Rules are respected by site visitors.

53 Such measures include, but are not limited to, refusing to accept any message that may be construed or interpreted as discriminatory, promulgating hatred or obscenity, or defamation of any kind.

54 Issues with Digital Debates Limit time for discussion Specify clear topic Independent moderator Clear rules Quick summary

55 What tools for consultation? What’s the most appropriate? Web forums? E-Mail…??? Listserv – moderated, unmoderated, digest or no digest Can too much e-mail create an avalanche?

56 Most suitable online discussion framework… Real time or asynchronous How close are decision makers to the process? Officials – lurkers or participants? Do public servants contribute to discussion? Standards for response time


58 Public Service Culture and New Media Public servants dealing with increasingly ambiguous role Most government websites designed to disseminate information, not gather it Mass listening is changing – opinion polls are not the only option

59 PS Culture Cont’d Departments must create new structures to engage with citizens Within government communication structure, perhaps more liaisons – press officers, librarians, lawyers, etc.  (from Report on Wilton Park Conference on E-Government, 15-18 Nov. 1999)

60 Risk of E-Government Project Failure Management confusion Lack of focus and definition Lack of IT skills in public sector Grandiose scope – all the bells, whistles and java applets Not enough $$

61 Calling all Canadian Eyeballs!! In an information-rich environment, how to distinguish oneself from the mass of….American content and stuff??? …or from Canadian commercial sites… …or from Canadian media mergers …BCE>Thomson>CTV; Canwest>Hollinger; Videotron.Quebecor…

62 So, What’s at Stake? Public service effectiveness and efficiency Privacy and security Equity and community Governance Loss of public service jobs through digitization???

63 Let’s Consider….. Will Internet infrastructure grow exponentially? How can new media overcome, rather than exacerbate, issues of access to publicly-funded services? You said paperless office???!

64 C2G<>G2C Communication Realize goal of packaging information as a social good, rather than a costly consumer product Citizen engagement is key  Design level (end-users)  Content  Consultation

65 Your Turn Best practices Worst practices Organizational culture – cog in the wheel or “empowered”? How to attract and retain new grads?

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