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Towards re-inventing good governance

Good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development: Kofi Annan
It is not complicated for people in developed countries to envisage a situation in which all interaction with government could be done through one counter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without waiting in lines. Conversely, to achieve this same level of efficiency and flexibility for developing countries is going to be far more complicated. Experience in developed countries confirms that this would be feasible if governments are willing to decentralize responsibilities and processes, and if they start using electronic means. Each citizen could then contact the government through a website where all forms, legislation, news and other information available. The use of electronic means (ICTs) in government procedures facilitates speedy, transparent, accountable, efficient and effective interaction with the public, citizens, business and the other agencies.
Good governance refers to the question of how a society can organize itself to ensure quality of opportunity and equity (social and economic justice) for all citizens. Moralities at the heart of good governance are participation, pluralism, transparency, accountability, equity, access, partnership, and efficiency. The essence of public administration as a democratic institution is to use the principles of good democratic governance to design and structure state institutes, their internal processes and mechanisms, and their mission. Simply stated, it implies that public administration as a democratic institution has the following characteristics:
It is accountable and transparent;
It is decentralized;
It is based on a system of check and balance between the executive branch and the parliament;
It has adequate management capacity to enhance access to justice;
It utilizes the power of information and communication technology to promote citizens’ access and participation in the development process;
It promotes and strengthens partnerships of various types to achieve objectives.
The e-government is a powerful means for secretarial and governance reform. Whenever e-government projects/programs are being formulated or are going to be launched, opportunities and ways for transforming the existing administrative structure must be studied. The success of e-government initiatives depends on how well they are planned and implemented. Although the basis for e-government development, such as e-government readiness, infrastructure, and business processes may vary country to country, the ultimate goal of e-government is more or less the same. Moreover, it is not crucial to follow blindly what other countries are doing with respect to e-government development.
The e-government is about transforming the way government act together with the governed. The practice is neither quick nor simple. It requires a coherent strategy, beginning with an examination of the nation’s political will, resources, regulatory environment, and ability of the population to make use of planned technologies. Global experiences point out that there are three types of reimbursement or returns that can be achieved from e-government expansion such as economic, social, and benefits of government.
The e-government is a solution that can realistically modernize the process of governance itself. Therefore, government leaders planning e-government projects should first examine the function or operation to which they want to apply. E-government requires strong political leadership in order to succeed. Strong leadership can ensure the long-term commitment of resources and expertise and the cooperation of disparate factions. The success of e-government requires necessarily changing how government works and how people view the way in which government helps them. There is no “one size fits all” strategy in implementing e-government. In order to realize efficiencies, governments must develop a citizen-centric model that involves key stakeholders outside of government. Without citizens input, e-government projects are unlikely to succeed, because if citizens will not use system that does not respond to their needs as the concept of e-government revolves around the citizen. In order to develop this citizen-focused vision, policymakers must keep the ordinary citizens in mind as e-government is not just a cost cutting or efficiency initiative, but rather is directed at bettering the lives of ordinary people.
 


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