“International Challenges to Transformational eGovernment” – Shauneen Furlong #CeDEM15 #keynote


Shauneen presents findings uncovered during the years of her work and research in Canada. Transformational eGovernment is based on the hope and promises that lead to democratic participation, social harmony and economic sustainability. Yet why are some eGovernment strategies more successful than others?

#CeDEM15 Keynote
“International Challenges to Transformational eGovernment”
Shauneen Furlong
Professor and ICT and eGovernment Consultant, Universities Toronto and Ottawa

All #CeDEM15 Keynotes


At the beginning: put services online, have a web presence – but need to demand more than this. In 2015 eGovernment is still more transactional than transformational. This is because former is easier, short-term service oriented, measurable, is non-threatening to senior executives in public sector (and they are the ones who determine the eGovernment strategies to be adopted – and they will make sure their careers are in no way threatened!). There is a need to blend academia, practitioners, and public sector to make it possible.

Transformational is not happening not because lack of trying, but because being transformational is simply harder, it is a revolutionary process, where the expectations are high and “unclear”, and the objectives are demanding and complex.

Use the “lost wallet” application – what needs to be restored when you lose your wallet? How can we develop the same procedure for a department? Shauneen asks academics and practitioners to join public administrations to help develop this application!

Egovernment ranking (e.g. as provided by the UN) engages politicians, it makes them strive to improve, climb the rungs of such classifications. But there is always the risk and fear of failure – feared in particular by senior executives and politicians (the one who determine the egovernment strategy adopted) and are often guided by the motivation to “protect ourselves”. Failure prevents creativity and imagination. But there is a clear need for professional creativity so that transformational egovernment can succeed.

One of the highest ranking eGovernment countries is Singapore. Singapore is so successful because they aimed to do something that could not be done before. By focusing on their really big problems, traffic and parking, egovernment tried to solve these problems by linking them to a range of other issues. So for example, a citizen going to a doctor’s appointment can use an app which links the doctor’s appointment to a app showing parking availability near the surgery.

So far, digital opportunities have only scratched the surface of the egovernment world! Shauneen has developed a Compendium of eGovernment challenges – it shows that transactional eGovernment needs to be holistic, synergistic and interrelated.

More informations
cedem15‘7 Questions’ to Keynote Speaker Shauneen Furlong @CeDEM15

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