Types of E-government
E-Government comprises a wide range of activities and actors. The type of e-Government is based on how ICT is used to facilitate the relationships between government and other key stakeholders. The types of relationships are with citizens (G2C – Government-to-Citizen), businesses (G2B – Government-to-Business), other governments (G2G – Government-to-Government), and employees (G2E – Government-to-Employees).
Government-to-Business e-Government (G2B)
G2B e-Government focuses on strategies using ICTs to facilitate government interactions with the private sector, for example, to procure goods and services, sell surplus government goods and to coordinate transactions from private companies.
Government-to-Government e-Government (G2G)
G2G e-Government involves sharing data and conducting electronic exchanges between various governmental agencies or through intergovernmental relations. Transactions performed among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) constitute this type of e-Government.
In many respects, the government to government sector represents the backbone of e-Government
Government-to-Employee e-Government (G2E)
This focuses on relationships within government among its employees to coordinate internal operations and improve the internal efficiency of business processes. It is an online interaction for government units to share information such as payroll, SSNIT information, Training materials and HR information with government employees.
Government-to-Citizen (G2C) facilitates citizen’s interaction with government, which is the primary goal of e-Government.
G2C focuses on making information accessible to citizens’ online. It is referred to as citizen-centric e-Government when governments take further steps to provide online services organised around citizen-needs, or services and resources tailored to the actual service and resource-needs of citizens.
This attempts to make transactions – such as payment of taxes, renewing licences and applying for certain benefits – less time-consuming and easier to carry out. G2C initiatives also strive to enhance access to public information through the use of dissemination tools, such as websites. Some e-Government advocates suggest that one of the goals of implementing these initiatives should be to create a ‘one-stop shopping’ site, where citizens can carry out a variety of tasks, especially those that involve multiple agencies, without requiring the citizen to initiate contacts with each agency individually.
Most citizens do not understand how the internal operations of a government ministry functions; the bureau-centric organisation of a government website caused greater levels of dissatisfaction with early e-Government sites. Web visitors would use trial and error methods to navigate from page to page on the web site, and not know for certain if the next click would lead them to the information they needed or to a dead-end. Learning lessons from e-commerce sites, developers of e-Government services adopted customer-centric approaches to help citizens become more satisfied with their online experience at government web sites.
A related Government-to-Citizen relationship is when the citizen is also interacting with government as a political actor and participant in democratic processes. For example, E-voting and E-democracy systems support this type of relationship. A potential outgrowth of G2C initiatives is that they may facilitate citizen-to-citizen interaction and increase citizen participation in government, by creating more opportunities which overcome possible time and geographic barriers – thereby connecting citizens who may not ordinarily come into contact with one another.
In e-Government adoption, citizens hold a key position – especially in its deployment and development. Adoption of e-Government greatly depends on the citizens.
It is therefore very important to understand the factors which would influence the citizen’s adoption for successful implementation of e- Government in Ghana. In our next article, we will be discussing the factors influencing citizen’s adoption of e-government service in Ghana.
The author is the Head of IT, Progress Savings and Loans (Member: Institute of ICT Professionals, Ghana)
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