Cost-Benefit analysis of E-Governance: Bangladesh perspective


Research Paper (undergraduate), 2008
68 Pages, Grade: B

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose of the Study

Hypothesis

Methodology

Governance

E-Governance

Overview of E-Government

Philosophy and Practices of E-governance

Difference between E-Government and Private Enterprises

Reasons for E-Governance Development

Private Sector Intervention

Good Governance

Development of Web

Significance of E-Government

Scrutinizing existing mechanism

Orientation of Technology

Efficient Personnel and Efficient management

Capacity Building

Mass Awareness

Benefits of E-Governance

E-Governance in Bangladesh

Major Challenges of e-Governance in Bangladesh

The National ICT Policy and E-Governance

Local e- governance

Local E-Governance in Bangladesh

Impediments of Local E-Governance in Bangladesh
Poverty
Lack of Consciousness
Outdated Educational System
Conventional Attitude of Govt. Officials
Absence of a Working Mechanism
Lack of Strategic Framework
Indifferent Ministries and Departments
Lack of Adequate Infrastructure
Lack of Adequate Legal Framework
Economic Disparity
Unconscious and Inefficient Public Servant
Local content and non-availability of information

E-readiness: Recent Trend

Recent Development : E- Governance in Bangladesh
Ministry and Division
Cellular Phone
ISP and Cyber Café

Foreign Assistance

E-Governance and Thought of People: An Overhaul

Cost – Benefit Analysis

Justifiability of Cost-Benefit Analysis

Recommendations and Concluding Remarks

Sources

Abstract

On the current wave in the governance arena e-governance has become a concern of key consideration around all the concerned quarter and has become an issue of public concentration. In the era of information super highway people around the world are making their lives more comfortable. This helps them in saving time and money and invoking improved service delivery by the government agencies. Examining the cost-benefit analysis of e-governance is of much importance for deciding whether this mechanism is really improving the lifestyle of the citizenry and the public expenditure utilized in this purpose is duly evaluated. The implication of cost-benefit analysis of e-governance is of much significance in determining the justifiability of a newer concept in governance mechanism in the countries around the world.

Introduction

With the rapid growth and development of fiber optics, process of communication has been made much easier and convenient. People can avail every opportunity they have within reach. These days, a man of ordinary asset can enjoy the privileges of mobile technology. Now, certainly, is the heyday as even a beggar of Africa can easily contact the remotest village in Bangladesh. There is nothing denying that this is nothing but the charisma of Science. The booming development of information technology has boosted our lives amazingly peaceful and comfortable. People now can design their lives with any decorum they like and have the optimum taste they truly dream. Of late, information technology has been developed in governance arena. By this, effort has been taken to give people more facilities making their lives easier and shift a bulk of burden in their day-to-day life. Arguably, for this, people would get the scope of enhancing their capabilities and efficiencies in their respective field. This would make them smoother and more active in their functioning. It is well said that along with individual efficiency and convenience, the system would also promote and ensure transparency, reduce corruption, confirm accountability, lessen expenditure in the governance of a country. So, long cherished good governance would be ensured. People would reap the benefit of such governance. Eradication of poverty, mal-governance, mal-administration would import democracy in the statehood. So, by the introduction of e-governance a radical change would be brought and certainly this would be the opening chapter in empowering the people. This is meant in developing countries like ours, this is greatly a blessing. In many countries in the world, even some of Latin America e-governance has been introduced. This is providing the people immense benefits. Even our neighbor, India has, somehow taken the approach. Contention may rise whether Bangladesh has sufficient capabilities. At this, economic development by reform has effectuated a radical change in many countries, even India and china. Thus, reform in governance by the means, so effective in result; i.e., e-governance would surely double the prospects of the country and brings glorious days for us and the generation to come. For the matter is of serious concern and burning issue for the country’s better sake, it is urged to justify the rationality of the study.

Over the years, states have been seen as the most responsive to the citizens’ needs and requirements. The rapid development of information and communication technology has added a new signal of hope and aspiration in making life easier and more comfortable. It has a far reaching effect in all spheres of human life including Govt. mechanism. Information and communication technology (ICT) applications in public administration, among other areas, have achieved transparent, responsible, accountable, participatory, and responsive governance in many countries (Hoque 2006, p. 346). Governments have responded by developing e-government initiatives that include everything from basic e-enablement of documents to more ambitious and effective integrated e-enabled government service systems designed to allow citizens to do everything from applying for a business permit to recording a death certificate electronically (E-Government News 2008). Improvement in delivery of local e-Government services is an important issue for many developing countries, as poor service delivery is an impediment to economic growth and the largest cost of inefficiency in social services is borne by the poor. Electronic delivery can improve efficiency, cut delays, and increase transparency. The promise of e-Government is that it will be able to improve governance through citizen empowerment and participation, better delivery of government services, more efficient management, less corruption, more transparency, greater convenience, increased revenue, and reduced costs (Taylor 2003). The Government of Bangladesh need to develop a vision and strategy, create an organization to support and catalyze local e-government, build human capacity, and enact policies that will attract private investment in infrastructure and application development. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MOICT) of the Government of Bangladesh is responsible for the implementation of a National Information Technology Strategic Plan to become a SMART government, wired into today's technology. Electronic governance refers to assurance of electronic delivery of government services. Among its goals are to make available on the Internet government forms, e.g. passport applications, income tax, customs; published government reports, laws and documents; publish all requests for Tender Proposals on the Internet; introduce the registration of companies and businesses, and the payment of utility bills via the Internet. In this paper I would like to introduce a broad area of government services that can be easily and cost effectively performed starting from everywhere of each citizens by policy making.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the present study is to explore the cost-benefit analysis of e-governance in Bangladesh. To this end, the present study concentrates on scrutinizing the economic and strategic aspects as well as other relevant grounds in policy framing of the country. The study has also made endeavor to examine the notion of common masses regarding benefits of e-governance and at the same time determining the cost analysis for the introduction of e-governance in the country. In addition, the study has also exerted in assessing the logical analysis of cost-benefit formula of e-governance and accordingly calculating the feasibility of the implementation of it for the maximum benefit of the people of the country. Things explored in this study would help to a greater extent to a larger audience particularly students, academicians, policy makers as well as government and private agencies in formulating their decisions in a right manner in matters associated with e-governance.

Hypothesis

A hypothesis is a preliminary or tentative explanation or postulate by the researcher of what the researcher considers the outcome of an investigation will be (Hypothesis). In fact, hypothesis indicates a specific statement or prediction on a particular issue in a given study. This is so designed in a study in order to develop a thorough framework in drawing concrete finding. However, the hypothesis determining the cost benefit analysis used in the study is a. implementation of e-governance in the country is more costly than benefits. To this effect, the study has taken some variables as

a. whether the implementation of e-governance is feasible or impossible for the government .
b. whether e-governance provides any benefit to the citizens or just a huge expenditure of public fund giving no return
c. whether the proportion of cost or expenditure is more than the benefits .

Methodology

The methodology used in the study is both analytical and empirical with a view to exploring the cost –benefit analysis of e-governance in Bangladesh. The study has used both primary and secondary data for its analysis. In conducting its effort, the study has taken help from secondary sources like books, journal articles, websites etc. The study has also made field investigation for keeping the accuracy and justification of this scholarly attempt. Through making a comprehensive study with primary and secondary sources, the study has made a thorough analysis for ensuring perfection of the study.

Governance

Governance meant a process of interaction and coordination between Govt. and various group of the country for the decision making and implementing action plan in matters associated with their mutual interests. Though, there is a divergence of opinion, the ongoing notion of governance includes good governance. It ensures gradual development of democratic culture, promotion of human rights, transparent, accountable, participatory and efficient and corruption free State administration. Governance is a process by which individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs (The Importance of Philosophy, UNESCO Newsletter). Again, World Bank has defined it from three aspects on the availability of social and economic resources of the country and held that Governance is a. the process by which governments are selected, held accountable, monitored, and replaced; b. the capacity of governments to manage resources efficiently and formulate, implement, and enforce sound policies and regulations; and c. the extent of participation of the citizens in the affairs of the state .

E-Governance

The world has experienced and continues to benefit from tremendous developments of Information and Communications Technology (Alampay and Umali 2007). States have accorded information and communication technology for the promotion of their development initiatives. Recently, the concept of e-governance has got much popularity and wide recognition. In plain meaning, e-governance is the use of information and communications technologies to improve the functioning of government. It is the most effective and powerful tool to deliver corruption free administration, better quality public services, reducing delay, developing cost-effectiveness, raising productivity and improving transparency and accountability. The entire mechanism of e-governance is regulated through Internet. Internet is one communication tool that has the potential to radically change the face of government in the 21st century (Reddick 2004). E-government is the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to promote more efficient and cost-effective government, facilitate more convenient government services, allow greater public access to information, and make government more accountable to citizens (Wescott a). A recent report outlines six stages of e-government 1.Information Publishing, 2.Dissemination of information, 3.Official two-way transactions, 4.Multi-purpose portals, 5. Clustering of common services, 6.Full integration and enterprise transformation (Kingham 2003). UNESCO has defined E-Governance as “the performance of the governance via the electronic medium (UNESCO Newsletter, p. 7). Actually, e-governance includes all sphere of human life. It ensures that the citizen would get the maximum privileges in obtaining the government services. The implementation of it is also too costly. The following two images portray the clear idea as regards the scope of e-governance and the cost of it necessary for structuring and availing opportunities from this.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: http://www.comat.com/Images/e-governance_wheel_sml.gif

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: http://www.idrc.ca/openebooks/369-0/f0034-01.gif

Overview of E-Government

E-governance is not limited to a particular segment; it is much broader concept and encompasses almost every arena of life. Electronic governance or e-governance is much talked about in this information age (Islam, 2005). Electronic government or E-Government proposes to circumstances in which administrative, legislative and judicial authorities (including both central and local governments) digitize their internal and external undertakings and operate networked systems proficiently to understand better excellence in the stipulation of public services. E-government is the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to promote more efficient and cost-effective government, facilitate more convenient government services, allow greater public access to information, and make government more accountable to citizens (Wescott c, 2001 ). Electronic government involves e- government, e-governance and e-democracy equally in the proper application of electronic government. E-government constitutes the way public sector institutions use technology to apply public administration principles and conduct the business of government. This is government using new tools to enhance the delivery of existing services (Situation of E-Government in Lithuania, May 2003). E-governance is the movement of governments online to electronically deliver their services and programs, provide government information, and interact with the citizen. E-democracy is about how the citizen interacts with government or influences the legislative or public sector process … [it’s] all about participatory democracy. This is the shift from representational democracy to participatory democracy (International Tracking Survey Report). E-Governance represents the application of Information Technology for the improvement of Administration (Vijayahankar 2000a). Therefore, E-Government is the delivery of government services and information to the public using electronic means. The neighboring country is doing a lot for the promotion of e-governance in the country. More hopefully, the undertakings initiated and advanced by India can be adopted as model for making excellence in the arena of e-governance in a country like ours.

Philosophy and Practices of E-governance

E-governance has a substantial part in achieving the millennium development goal in the country. Millennium development goal is designed for obtaining the social and economic human development. Freedom, Equality and Solidarity are the underlying basis for the Millennium Development Goals which were endorsed by 189 Heads of State and Governments worldwide with their commitment being reaffirmed at the World Summit WSIS in 2005 (Bajwa, 2007) . Countries have been on the consensus to undertake the following means in implementing the millennium development goals. To this end, countries have concentrated on the following considerations : eradicating poverty and hunger make the global human community as safer and secured from uncertainties in their lives, ensuring universal primary education for all the children belonging to these countries, taking measures to promote gender equality and arrange proper management for the empowerment of women, reducing child mortality, fighting with HIV/AIDS, malaria and other chronic diseases affecting the lives of common people ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for the development initiatives in the respective countries. But, the implementation of the plan is not a mere task; rather it is a matter of comprehensive action programs. From a practical point of view, it can rightly be articulated that for the implementation of the program, it is urgently necessary to introduce a system for e-governance being touched with the flavor of good governance. For this, access to information is mostly needed. People should be facilitated with all sorts of government actions and programs. If the people are not conscious as to the government activities, no effective improvement and development initiatives would be ensured

Difference between E-Government and Private Enterprises

E-governance is fully concentrated on public service. But, in modern welfare states, co-existence between private and public sector has become a widely acceptable consideration. Both sectors are conjointly striving to serve the comfort of the people. Despite, there are certain distinctions between e-governance and private sector. The distinction has been drawn as such:

- E-government must be accessible and beneficial to all citizens who qualify for the services, rich and poor, college educated and high school dropouts, the able-bodied and the disabled. Private businesses can target their customers and select the most efficient delivery channel. The incentive for saving money in local government is for the public benefit. In the private sector, cost savings or new revenue benefits the organization directly. Local governments have limited funds to risk on the latest technology. Businesses, however, can act quickly, with no public exposure, if the risk-taking goes awry. Authority in cities and counties is designed to ensure that government act deliberately, not quickly. Businesses, however, tend to focus on the most efficient organizational structure. Local governments must react to social pressures and can only change their mission through legislation. Companies react to market situations and change whenever management believes it is desirable (E- Government : A Strategic Planning Guide ).

Reasons for E-Governance Development

Efficient Public Administration

The ideological foundation of public administration is to maximize the benefits of people. In addition, the key purposes of state philosophy and entire state activities are implemented through public administration. “More transparent public administration, personal responsibility of civil servants, clear cut reporting system, transparent decision making mechanisms – all these are just a few examples of the benefits directly related with administration (Situation of E-Government in Lithuania, May 2003). Successful implementation of e-government will certainly bring a significant change in the public administration. Thus, by introducing e-governance, more capable and efficient workforce would be ensured in public administration. So, necessity of efficient and transparent public administration has been utterly felt by e- governance.

Private Sector Intervention

The functions of a welfare state are not limited; rather, a comprehensive list. A common stipulation as regards state activities explains, Govt. is responsible to ensure maximum privileges and enjoyment of the people whereas the ground reality speaks that it is impossible from the Govt. side alone to afford all the facilities to its people. With the development of Laissez Faire policy, the intervention of private sector has been entered in providing services to the citizenry. Consequently, the quality of services provided by the private enterprises is gradually improving and people seem more inclined in expecting better services from Govt. initiatives. Hence, public assertion demands the adoption of e-Government to invoke better public services.

Good Governance

The explanation of good governance implies the democratic means of governance. People living in a democratic state deserve the same rights, privileges and enjoyments. More accurately speaking, the concept of good governance denotes a society free from exploitation. E- Govt can ensure a governance framework where corruption, physical force, abuse of power would be no longer and accountability, transparency and public participation would be confirmed effectuating the core values of democratic governance or good governance.

Development of Web

With the auspices of modern scientific inventions, every component of human life has been easier and comfortable. People can avail the opportunity of performing all the necessary functions efficiently and with much rapidity. World Wide Web in this regard has added a new dimension in designing a system of global village throughout the world which has eased people getting every available information in hand any time one wishes. This has led the people of the nations in adopting e-governance with a view to earning a handful result in ensuring better governance in the countries.

Significance of E-Government

The overall purposes of E-Government initiatives are to perk up and to improve citizen access to E-Government information and services. The e-Governance promoters often indicate electronic delivery of government services; paying fees and fines, ordering services, finding information, submitting tenders, applications, permits and licenses. In our most ICT connected societies, 70% of people have no access in network and will be disenfranchised. E-government procurement has a catalytic effect giving it strategic significance. However, its implementation is often misunderstood and the seeds of failure often sown with presumptions about the relative roles of technology, management and culture (Schapper). In the context of Bangladesh certainly it can make the government more efficient, transparent and effective. Information Technology today is recognized as an effective tool for catalyzing the economic activity in efficient governance and in developing human resource (eGovernance, C-DAC). The e- government strengthens the trust in government by instilling a new sense of public possession in its procedure, while at the same time improving the efficacy and efficiency of government service delivery. As the era of Digital Economy develops, ‘the concept of good Governance assumes a greater implication. It is expected that in this context the Electronic Governance will result in improved transparency, speedy information dissemination, higher administrative efficiency and improved public services in sectors including transportation, education, power, health, water, security and the state administration and municipal services. E-Governance holds significant potential as a tool to assist the government of Bangladesh in achieving its governance reform objects. E-Governance is basically designed to improve the efficiency, responsiveness, transparency and accountability of the government. Common applications of e-governance include online delivery of government information and services, computerized licensing and registration, web-based tender notification, procurement etc. It also aims to streamline relationships between government, business and citizens through effective use of ICT. While a few government institutions in Bangladesh have advanced e-governance initiatives beyond basic applications, the country as a whole is still at the nascent stage of its implementation (Khan, 2004). It can also help institutionalize management systems that reduce the scope for rent-seeking activities. E-Governance makes decentralization of government services and decision-making easier, since data stored in digital format can be updated and accessed from virtually any office under a network system. It also helps to boost private sector performance and efficiency by reducing the time and expenses required for businesses to interact with the government. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are particularly benefited with simplification of official processes and services such as online procurement. That helps to reduce barriers to entry for new businesses and, thus, increase competition. E-governance has already become a much-talked-about issue. ‘Besides, it can generate an experienced IT workforce which cannot only earn money within the country but fetch huge amount of money from abroad. Although the ultimate hope of IT revolution depends on private enterprise, it is the introduction of e-governance that can trigger the IT revolution in the country as it covers all sectors and the whole country. In e-governance, government can give information to public and public can have access to important information and documents of the government. Public opinion may be sought on various issues as interaction between public and government can be built through internets and websites. People can vent their grievances and lodge their complaints. ‘Government should immediately take steps to create a Central Data Bank for the entire population. Electronic ID cards should be made for each individual that an be used for voting, opening a bank account, having a license or passport, giving tax, for obtaining job and so on. Various utility bills like power supply, water supply, gas supply and telecommunications can be paid by consumers through [I]internet. They can interact with these utility agencies regarding inaccurate bills or other complaints (Khan, 2004). The essence of EG is the communication between the “Governing” and the “Governed” and the test of “Good Governance” is a “Harmoniously Living Society (Vijayahankar 2000a). For example, E-government is the use of ICT to promote more efficient and cost-effective government, facilitate transaction in delivery of government services, allow greater public access to information, and make government more accountable to citizens. It enables the public to give its views and comments on issues affecting their lives, and authorities or agencies concerned to provide replies and prompt government actions. If government forms, such as income tax returns, applications for passports, birth certificates, clearances from police, registration of voters, land certificates, can be made available on-line, public confidence in public administration can be increased; difficult or lack of such access is often the object of public cynicism and the reason for lack of trust in government. Such on-line services will build citizen trust and goodwill toward government. In banking systems, applications for loans, for example, could also be made available via the Internet (Asian Development Bank, November 2003). However, the introduction of a more advanced ICT system through e-government would reduce opportunities for corruption in Bangladesh.

- Implementation Procedure

E-government implementation requires some key issues considerations. Experts have categorically set out the necessary ingredients for taking special attention in adopting e-governance. In this view, following considerations should be kept in mind:

- Specification of Purposes

Every Govt. effort is undertaken in accomplishing a meaningful purpose. Without detecting or specifying the purposes, no undertakings can be effective and fruitful. Concerned authority with due importance should rightly specify the purposes as well as its target groups, i.e. beneficiaries and accordingly set a strategic vision for the adoption and implementation of E-governance. In United States of America, government adopted the following three strategic principles in the implementation of e-government: (1) citizen-centered, not bureaucracy- centered; (2) results-oriented; and (3) market-based, actively promoting innovation (source: www.firstgov.gov). In short, e-government implementation strategy of the U.S. is market-based with the aim of serving and supporting citizens’ specific requirements, which is assessed by clear and specific results (Chen, N., Y., Chen, M., H., Huang, W., and Ching, H., K., R. 2006). On the other hand, the e-government strategy adopted in Shanghai, China stipulates some other approach. Three specific e-government implementation strategies adopted in Shanghai assert, (1) To increase the transparency of government work, (2) to provide the convenience and better services to citizens and enterprises, and (3) to improve the efficiency of the government administration (Chen, N., Y., Chen, M., H., Huang, W., and Ching, H., K., R. 2006 ).

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Excerpt out of 68 pages

Details

Title
Cost-Benefit analysis of E-Governance: Bangladesh perspective
Grade
B
Author
Year
2008
Pages
68
Catalog Number
V115871
ISBN (eBook)
9783640176243
ISBN (Book)
9783640176373
File size
709 KB
Language
English
Tags
Cost-Benefit, E-Governance, Bangladesh
Quote paper
LL.M. Mahfuzar Rahman Chowdhury (Author), 2008, Cost-Benefit analysis of E-Governance: Bangladesh perspective, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/115871

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