eGovernment Framework

The eGovernment framework has three layers including the access, eGovernment and the e-business layer (Riad et al., 2012). The Access layer is made up of the data and communication devices while the eGovernment layer has the different websites that are incorporated into a single portal. The e-business lay contains all the data sources from the government as well as the data processing applications that are data enabled. The e-business layer constitutes from business intelligence (BI) and application and data layers and tools such as analyzing, reporting and mining techniques. The e-business layer can receive the decision support system (DSS) as well as its other subcomponents.

The proposed DSS framework for eGovernment is made up of four major components. Data component subsystem is the first one, and it establishes a uniform mechanism and method to collect the problem data and incorporate it into the data integration format (Riad et al., 2012). The model component subsystem is the second subcomponent, and it gives the decision makers access to different models to allow them to explore various scenarios and observe their side effects so as to help them in making the decisions. The DSS framework for eGovernment is the third component and includes the Knowledge component subsystem (Riad et al., 2012). It comprises of the knowledge library and the management system that are systematically organized, managed, stored, inserted or deleted and queried to check the integrity and consistency of knowledge by using the reasoning subcomponent and knowledge representation(Riad et al., 2012). The fourth component is the dialogue subsystem that focuses on developing a screen layout and interface that are easy to use and are visually attractive. Ideally, the user interface is what the decision makers use when they interact with a DSS (Riad et al., 2012).  The Dialogue subsystem of DSS inside e-government should contain operation aid parts, memory aid parts to minimize the user’s memory use and the control aid parts to place the users in control.

Examples of eGovernment Evaluation Frameworks

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With the advent of new global standards, the citizens are asking for better accountability and performance from their governments as they have become more aware of the instances of corruption and the poor management costs (Riad et al., 2010). An eGovernment evaluation framework must classify the content on the site and emphasize the vital and serious aspects that impact the accomplishment of the electronic government. From the definition of eGovernance, online services form the core component.  At such, the actual start of eGorvenance is providing the citizens with online services.  The other essential factor is the interaction between the government and the user.

Challenges of incorporating DSS into models of E-government

The road to any successful eGovernment project entails opening channels that provide citizens with the necessary infrastructure. The factors that impact the success of the e-government are governmental, social and support (Conklin, 2007). Availing the paramount the necessary infrastructural level and capacity. One of the most significant challenges that hinders the government from realizing its vision of reaching each institution and citizen is the digital divide. The digital divide is a complex and dynamic issue that was presented particularly in countries with eGovernmet initiatives in the mid-1990s based on the utilization of the internet or ICT as a dynamic communication channel providing the populaces with the needed knowledge and services (Abu-Shanab & Khasawneh, 2014). It can be referred to as, ‘the gap between individuals who have adequate access to the internet and ICTs and the people who do not have” (Sipior & Ward, 2005).

However, digital divide is not just about the access to technology or the internet physically, but it is the actual reach, access and the connectivity that is socially responsible (Abu-Shanab & Khasawneh, 2014). Ideally, digital divide is a combined obstacle between human factors and technology. According to Helbig, Gil-Garcia and Ferro (2009), digital divide can be explored with the help of three approaches including the technology access approach (differences between individuals with available technology and those without). The second one is the multi-dimensional approach (numerous aspects put into consideration such as the existence of different economic opportunities as well as disparities between developed and developing nations as well as individual skills technically. The final one is the multiple-perspective approach where people are studied on values, skills, mental models and believes basis, as well as the gender impact, ethnicity and race. Orbicom (2005) categorized the digital divide into skill divide and access divide. Studies have shown that digital divide is one of the major significant barriers to the eGovernment adoption.

Other challenges include the process of re-engineering the whole business process which upsets the flow, especially if it is made up of a huge number of users. Other issues include the absence of ICT knowledge, insufficient ICT facilities and incapability to access the electronic government provisions in their vernaculars. Abu-Shanab & Khasawneh, 2014). The availability of technical skills to develop the web-based DSS is critical since it is very costly to outsource the services. If the individuals meant to use these systems, it undermines its capability, and it is not put to its maximum use (Gilbert, Balestrini & Littleboy, 2004).  The concept of web-based DSS is relatively new, and literature is lacking on the theories to guide its construction. This poses a big challenge because even with proper infrastructure but no guidance on development it becomes inadequate.

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Since it is a collaborative web-based DSS, the platform will include so many people particularly because it is within the eGovernment which calls for public participation. At such, there will be a big flow of data which is not only overwhelming to the portal because it can easily crash but also because it complicates the data analysis process (Gilbert, Balestrini & Littleboy, 2004).  Unlike in the organizations where very few individuals are involved in the decision-making procedure, in eGovernments, the public is welcomed to share their thoughts on policies, projects, and other government initiatives. At such, the data obtain is quite overwhelming and without proper structures, the process of data analysis might fail to be as inclusive and conclusive as possible.

Privacy and legality of the information and data shared is also of primary concern regarding e-governance (Marques12, Dias & Zúquete, 2009). No proper structures are established to cater for issues of confidentiality and privacy while on the internet. There is so much personal data collected whenever someone visits websites and internet service providers (Dias, Gomes & Zúquete, 2013). The question remains, ‘just how safe is the information collected?’ There are chances that it can be utilized for unauthorized purposes and in the worst case scenario can result in legal implication for the owners. Privacy remains an issue that most e-governments grapple with and focus on developing proper private policies that would be used to sustain the e-government utilization and development (Dias, Gomes & Zúquete, 2013). However, it has remained a challenge since most of the governments have put more emphasis on putting up the e-government structures while sidelining the privacy of the users as it is not considered a priority. Currently, the state of affairs regarding user privacy and legality of the data obtained online is non-satisfactory and at such the governments should focus on the same.