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About this book

This book explores the main elements of e-Democracy, the term normally used to describe the implementation of democratic government processes by electronic means. It provides insights into the main technological and human issues regarding governance, government, participation, inclusion, empowerment, procurement and, last but not least, ethical and privacy issues. Its main aim is to bridge the gap between technological solutions, their successful implementation, and the fruitful utilization of the main set of e-Services totally or partially delivered by governments or non-government organizations.
Today, various parameters actively influence e-Services’ success or failure: cultural aspects, organisational issues, bureaucracy and workflows, infrastructure and technology in general, user habits, literacy, capacity or merely interaction design. This includes having a significant population of citizens who are willing and able to adopt and use online services; as well as developing the managerial and technical capability to implement applications that meet citizens’ needs. This book helps readers understand the mutual dependencies involved; further, a selection of success stories and failures, duly commented on, enables readers to identify the right approach to innovation in governmental e-Services.
With its balanced humanistic and technological approach, the book mainly targets public authorities, decision-makers, stakeholders, solution developers, and graduate students.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Being Human in the Digital Age: e-Democracy

The purpose of this book is to help in drawing and understanding a realistic scenario of what we can term e-Citizenry; sometimes this term simply identifies members of the network, Internet users. This book identifies as “e-Citizen” a Citizen surrounded by public administration’s digital services and the transition from his traditional role and behaviour to the new ones. Of course, we cannot forget the huge set of services provided by private organisations as the completion of the scenario.
Alfredo M. Ronchi

Chapter 2. Governance and e-Governance

Governance—In the sense of “set of principles, ways of procedures for the management and control of companies, institutions, or complex phenomena generating significant social consequences”. So we will find not only e-Governance in e-Government, e-Learning, e-Health but even Internet Governance. Sometimes this “interface” between citizens’ wills and expectations and everyday life generates a bad feeling and sentiment about bureaucracy and government. Here comes the need to clarify what we mean with the term governance and government.
Governance: the story. Governance and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). From Governance to e-Governance; core components of e-governance; main models of e-governance. Network neutrality.
Alfredo M. Ronchi

Chapter 3. e-Participation

There is a growing distance between citizens and their governments and the European Union this has led to a decline in voter turnout, a shrink in membership of political parties and a loss of interest in politics in general, especially by young people. e-Participation is one of the “antidote” to this public discontent, to regain citizens’ trust and revitalise European democracy.
e-Participation in Europe, e-Participation in the United Nations vision, and Direct Democracy.
Alfredo M. Ronchi

Chapter 4. e-Inclusion & e-Empowerment

Recalling the well-known motto “no one is left behind” in enjoying the benefits of ICT, e-Inclusion focuses on participation of all individuals and communities in all aspects of the information society no matter their country, gender, age, wealth or, accordingly to another OECD definition, again limited to the digital divide: “… the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas at different socio-economic levels with regard to both their opportunities to access information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their use of the Internet for a wide variety of activities.
Alfredo M. Ronchi

Chapter 5. e-Government: Background, Today’s Implementation and Future Trends

What do we term e-Government? This chapter provides a comprehensive overview, subdivided by main classes, on the emerging scenario for everyday life in the e-Society. Main subjects are the different stages of e-Government evolution; connectivity as a public good, public access; multi-channel and cross channels access to the services. The scope of this chapter is to bridge the gap between technology and successful solutions analysing the different parameters influencing e-Government success or failure. This chapter like the whole book outlines the user/citizen perspective and desiderata.
What do we term e-Government?; Stages of e-Government Evolution; Connectivity as a public good; Public Access; Multi Channel and cross channels access to the services. Different parameters influencing e-Government success or failure; Interoperability of systems. Privacy and Personal Data Management. How to rank ICT development, e-Government readiness, and measure performance; ICT indexes: DAI, ICT-OI, DOI, IDI. Benchmarking e-Government and e-Government Readiness Index. Unsuccessful stories: some reasons why; e-Government in a long-term perspective.
Alfredo M. Ronchi

Chapter 6. e-Procurement

e-Procurement refers to the use of electronic communications by public sector organisations when buying supplies and services or tendering public works. Increasing the use of e-Procurement in Europe can generate significant savings for European taxpayers. These savings would maximise the efficiency of public spending in the current context of fiscal constraints. e-Procurement can also provide a new source of economic growth and jobs, including by facilitating access to public procurement contracts by SMEs. (European Commission).
Public Procurement and e-Procurement. e-Catalogues and e-Catalogues Standards; UBL Universal Business Language. UBL Key Characteristics, c-Catalogue(UN/EDIFACT–eBESWorkshop). Cross-industry catalogue messages. Other standards relevant to e-Catalogues. The “procurement” effect of the Internet, the Scale of the Problem. Interoperability in the field of e-Procurement PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) and EU-wide Interoperability. PEPPOL Standards and OpenPEPPOL. Public Procurement in the European Union; directive on services in the Internal Market.
Alfredo M. Ronchi


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