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E-Government: Opportunities and Challenges in India. Subhash Bhatnagar Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (subhash@imahd.ernet.in) and Consultant, PREM Public Sector, World Bank sbhatnagar@worldbank.org. Presentation Structure.

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E government opportunities and challenges in india

E-Government:Opportunities and Challenges in India

Subhash Bhatnagar

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad



Consultant, PREM Public Sector, World Bank


Presentation structure
Presentation Structure

  • E-Government: different perceptions and delivery models

  • Cases resulting in multiple benefits: improved service delivery; reduced corruption; increased transparency; increased revenue; cost reduction; and empowerment.

  • What are the critical success factors in implementing e-government?

  • How to move forward?

E government scope and definition
E-Government: Scope and Definition

E-Government is about a process of reform in the way Governments work, share information and deliver services to external and internal clients for the benefit of both government and the citizens and businesses that they serve.

E-Government harnesses information technologies such as Wide Area Networks (WAN), Internet , World Wide Web, and mobile computing by government agencies to reach out to citizens, business, and other arms of the government to: Improve delivery of services to citizensImprove interface with business and industryEmpower citizens through access to knowledge and information andMake the working of the government more efficient and effectiveThe resulting benefits could be more transparency, greater convenience, less corruption, revenue growth, and cost reduction

Different delivery models
Different Delivery Models

  • Departments going on-line

    • Greater departmental ownership: significant re-engineering possible

    • Citizen visit many departments, each one may be more efficient

    • Could be a first step in the absence of high band width network

  • Conveniently located Service Centers

    • Counters manned by public/private agencies

    • Multiple services at each location: payment, licenses, certificates

    • Can quickly move traffic from departments to service centers

    • Requires significant coordination

  • Self Service through a Portal one stop shop

    • Back end computerization and Integration needed for data sharing

    • High internet penetration; willingness and ability of citizen to use

    • Security and mutual trust (builds with successful outcome)

    • Usage builds up gradually. Adoption rate has to be driven.

    • Requires strong centralized leadership for extensive co-ordination

Some successful e government applications from developing countries
Some Successful E-Government Applications from Developing Countries

  • CARD, FAST,eSeva, BHOOMI in India

  • Citizen Service Center (mobile), Bahia, Brazil

  • E-procurement:Mexico,Philippines,Bulgaria,Chile, Korea

  • New Business Registration: Jordan,Jamaica, China

  • Tax collection State Border Check Posts, Gujarat

  • Income Tax on-line in Mexico, Singapore, Brazil, Jordan

  • Customs on-line: India, Philippines, Jamaica

  • OPEN- Seoul Municipality, VOICE in Vijayvada

  • Gyandoot, n-Logue, drishtee in Rural India

  • Teachers Transfer in Karnataka and SmartGov in AP, Khajane in Karnataka

Overall assessment
Overall Assessment Countries

  • Assessment is difficult in the absence of evaluations. Overall impact is marginal. Limited number of applications. Service delivery has become efficient but impact on transparency/ corruption is marginal

  • Largest number of applications for service delivery to urban citizens in revenue earning departments. Few applications in health/education

  • Largely bottom-up, driven by reformist civil servants. Only 1-2 states have political support and central coordination.

  • Technical sophistication in design varies a great deal. Data sharing, scalability, security have not been adequately addressed.

  • Moving from manual to on-line for some steps. Produces large benefits. Integrating across departments is complex, more so with legacy systems.

  • Large number of web sites are not used. Citizens unwilling to engage. Intermediaries are needed.

Report card on bhoomi is good
Report Card on Bhoomi is GOOD Countries

  • Survey: 180 users from 12 kiosks and 60 non users 4 taluks

  • Ease of Use: 78% of users who had used both systems found Bhoomi simpler; 66% used Bhoomi without help vs. 28% in manual

  • Complexity of Procedures: 80% did not have to meet any one other than at kiosk: In manual 19% met one officer and 61% met 2-4 officials

  • Errors in documents: Bhoomi 8% vs manual 64%

  • Rectification of errors: sought correction 93 % vs 49%, timely response 50% vs 4%

  • Cost of service: 84% one visit to Bhoomi center at Taluk HQ

  • Corruption: 66% paid bribes very often vs 3% in Bhoomi

  • Staff behavior: Bhoomi Good (84%) vs manual Average (63%)

Report card on gyandoot
Report Card on Gyandoot Countries

  • Offers 22 services at fees of Rs 10-15 : Mandi prices (30%), grievance (13%), certificates promised in 8 days (25%)

  • Kiosks offer training, copying, word processing services for bulk of revenue

  • Evaluation thru a survey indicates dwindling attendance at Kiosks. 5602 (85% males) over 2 years logged in 18 kiosks. Attendance averages to one a day per kiosk

  • Handle very small proportion of any type of transactions

  • Doubtful Viability: Investment in network of Rs 2.5 million; Rs 150K worth of equipment and expenses of Rs 1200 pm with average revenue from user fee of Rs 150 pm/ kiosk

Critical success factors
Critical Success Factors Countries

  • Strong Political and Administrative Leadership , detailed Project Management

  • Clearly identified goals and benefits

  • Significant Process Reengineering Required

  • Start Small, scale up through stages, manage expectations

  • Adopt established standards and protocols – minimize customization

  • In-source Analysis ; Outsource design, software development, data preparation, training, etc.

  • Training Expenses should not be minimized

Enablers of e government
Enablers of e-Government Countries

  • 20 % Technology

  • 35 % Business Process Reengineering

  • 40 % Change Management

  • 5% Luck !




Organization for implementing e government
Organization for Implementing E-government Countries

  • A champion at the political level

  • Ministerial level co-ordination committees

  • A central support group

  • Departmental Champions and co-ordination committee

  • Institution for Training

  • Private sector partners

Issues that need resolution
Issues that Need Resolution Countries

  • No country is completely ready? Balance between strategizing, coordination and action

  • Approach: centrally driven versus departmental initiative?

  • Role, mandate, size of a central support agency. Where should it be created?

  • Creating departmental ownership: Budget allocations, training, demand, performance push

  • Who can help?(partnership with private sector: multi national/local/one or many partners, partnering arrangement)

  • How can progress be measured?

Role of the central support group
Role of the Central Support Group Countries

  • Assessing and enhancing preparedness

  • Developing a strategy and implementation plan

  • Resources for re-engineering, application development and change management

  • Guidelines, standards and best practices

  • Developing public private partnership

  • Identifying departmental champions

  • Monitoring progress and impact

  • Overseeing a few key projects

  • Building/managing shared infrastructure

Training and awareness building have a key role
Training and Awareness Building Have a Key Role Countries

  • Training programs for Project leaders who can define project deliverables, deal (negotiate) with consultants and vendors and manage an outsourced development process

  • Andhra Pradesh CIO Program conducted by IIMA

  • Training of clerical staff on specific applications (developers)

  • Awareness in citizens of on-line services and how to transact on Portals

  • Training of supervisors and managers on using information

  • Awareness in senior civil servants and political executives-highlighting benefits of Egovernment and effort required

E government opportunities and challenges in india

Technology that makes rural access inexpensive and robust Countries

Applications that draw a large cliental that pays for the service, ensuring economic viability of the kiosk

NGOs and grass root organizations that catalyze and mange the community building process

Bridging the Digital Divide

Content that empowers rural citizens and enables formation of communities

Problems in service delivery
Problems in Service Delivery Countries

  • Inadequate reach: balancing quality and access

  • High cost particularly to the rural poor

  • Mismatch in demand and supply—health and education

  • Low productivity and wasted resources

  • Consequences of administrative corruption

    • Service is denied/delayed unless bribe is paid

    • Collusion --Loss of revenue to government

    • Disincentive to SMEs, FDI, employees and citizens. Increases tolerance for corruption in society.

    • Creates corruption in appointments and transfers.

Corruption in service delivery generic problems
Corruption in Service Delivery: Generic Problems Countries

  • Complex rules-need for intermediaries

  • Discretion to delay or deny without assigning reasons

  • Decisions and actions are not traceable. Citizens have poor access to information

  • Lack of supervision in remote areas-problems of decentralization

  • Large power distance between civil servants and citizens-afraid to assert and complain

  • Poor mechanisms of complaint handling. Documentation is weak for any investigation

Impact of e government
Impact of E-Government Countries

  • Faster processing, shorter wait, shorter queues

  • Less number of trips to government offices: saves transport cost and avoids wage loss

  • More accurate and legible documents, easy recovery from errors, better reception areas

  • Lesser corruption more transparency

  • Improved access to offices (nearer home, 24X7) and functionaries (no intermediaries)

  • User fee may be levied- issue of acceptance

  • Improved complaint handling

Egovernment how does it help
Egovernment-How does it help Countries

  • Introduces transparency in data, decisions/actions, rules, procedures and performance of Govt. agencies

  • Automates processes to take away discretion

  • Entry point for simplification of rules and reengineering processes

  • Makes decisions traceable- tracks actions

  • Builds accountability- greater access to information through web publishing-role of civil society

  • Provides documentation to citizens for follow up

Egovernment how does it help1
Egovernment-How does it help Countries

  • Modularizes Tasks Making Outsourcing Possible

  • Introduces competition amongst delivery channels and departments

  • Standardized documentation of comments/ objections leads to effective supervision- through comparative indicators

  • Centralizes data for better audit and analysis Integration of data across applications-provides improved intelligence

  • Enables unbiased sampling for audit purposes

Egovernment how does it help2
Egovernment-How does it help Countries

  • Modularizes Tasks Making Outsourcing Possible

  • Introduces competition amongst delivery channels and departments

  • Standardized documentation of comments/ objections leads to effective supervision- through comparative indicators

  • Centralizes data for better audit and analysis Integration of data across applications-provides improved intelligence

  • Enables unbiased sampling for audit purposes

E government opportunities and challenges in india

Type of Information being made transparent Countries

Resulting benefits

Rules and procedure governing services; public officials responsible for different tasks; citizen’s charter; Enhancing citizen’s exposure

Standardizes procedures for delivery of service. Reduces arbitrariness, e.g. demand for additional documents

Information about decisions and actions of government functionaries: outcome and process e.g. award of contracts and license, allocation of resources.

Exposure of corruption and improved accountability

Data about individual entities in Government records such as land records, comments on application for license, bill of entry for goods, status of tax payments.

Exposure of manipulation for exchange of bribe and corruption

Information on performance of economy: Statistical employment, income, trade etc.

Performance indicator for Government departments

Civic engagement in governance

Greater accountability

Names of citizens with large outstanding loans, taxes; civil servants under investigation or convicted, index of corruption, performance of investigating agencies.

A kind of punishment for the corrupt through public exposure

Disclosure of assets, income, profile of election candidates, elected representatives, ministers and civil servants

Creates disincentive for corruption by creating fear of exposure

Summary egovernment is not irreversible magic
Summary: egovernment is not irreversible magic Countries

  • E-Government can advance the agenda on Governance reform, transparency, anti- corruption, empowerment. It is NOT a panacea

  • Potential is recognized but Implementation is difficult. Gains are real but risks need to be understood. Challenge is to promote wide spread use in areas where benefits outweigh risks.

  • Situate in a broader framework of anticorruption. Identify all pressure points and reengineer to remove discretion, simplify procedures and put out as much information in public domain. Incentive structure and institutional capacity

  • Create competition in delivery channels

  • Strengthen physical supervision and actionable MIS

  • Build other forms of benefits for those who loose power and income

  • Co-opt civil society to build accountability