Handbook of Critical Information Systems Research
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Handbook of Critical Information Systems Research

Theory and Application

Edited by Debra Howcroft and Eileen M. Trauth

This important Handbook provides a unique overview of information systems (IS) research by focusing on the increasing interest in critical-related issues.
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Chapter 15: Evaluating E-governance Projects in India: A Focus on Micro-Level Implementation

Shirin Madon


Shirin Madon Introduction The reform of government administration and the provision of improved services to citizens has long been acknowledged as a major criterion for development and today’s drive towards e-governance can be considered part of this wider developmental goal. The term ‘e-governance’ is taken to refer to a wide spectrum of applications of information technology (IT) in government described by some writers in terms of a continuum with a particular logic according to which information and communication technology (ICT) is first used for e-administration and e-services tasks and finally for e-democracy (Ranerup 1999; Heeks 2001a). This logic appears to have become something of a blueprint among international policy makers as revealed in their increased focus on e-governance activity in developing countries (DfID 2000). The Indian experience in e-government can broadly speaking be divided into two main phases. The first from the late 1960s/early 1970s to the late 1990s, and the second from the late 1990s onwards. In the first phase, efforts to develop e-government were concentrated on the use of IT for in-house government applications with a principal focus on central government requirements such as defence, research, economic monitoring and planning, and certain data-intensive functions related to elections, conducting of national censuses, and tax administration (GOI 1985). During this first phase, the introduction of IT in the public sector did not result in the automation of many key departmental activities. In the second phase, the implementation of the national IT task force and state government IT policies symbolized a...

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