Public Service Delivery and Empowerment
Edited by Anil B. Deolalikar, Shikha Jha and Pilipinas F. Quising
Chapter 12: Using ICT to improve governance and service delivery to the poor
Information and communication technology (ICT) can improve governance and the delivery of public services to the poor. A large body of literature by multilateral organizations already suggests that ICT can be used in diverse applications to accelerate the dissemination of information on public services, improve their efficiency, increase the transparency and accountability of government in their administration and so reduce corruption and facilitate citizen participation in local governance. However, few analytical studies or impact assessments confirm that such benefits have been delivered in large-scale projects. Bhatnagar and Singh’s 2010 study is among those that have, and Bhatnagar (2013) recognizes the important role of ICT in reducing corruption, but points out that it has not been easy to harness its potential. The United Nations (2012) recommends that the scope of e-government—ICT used in delivering government services—be widened to transform the role of government toward cohesive, coordinated and integrated processes and institutions. Since e-government in developing countries in Asia is nascent, there is clearly scope to expand its deployment to include improvement in governance.
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