Capping IT Off

Capping IT Off

Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

Why are eGovernment services failing to attract so many citizens? What can be done to reach the ‘non-believers’?

With so many people now digitally connected, why are large numbers of citizens still failing to use eGovernment services? And what can be done to improve take-up as Europe strives to meet the objectives of the EU’s Digital Agenda?

The recently published European Commission Benchmark Measurement on EU eGovernment Services 2012 produced by Capgemini reveals that only 46% of Europe’s internet population uses online public services. This finding is based on a survey of 28,000 citizens targeting the internet population of 32 countries.

It suggests that 54% of people fully able to use the internet are not comfortable with using it for eGov services. They are, instead, wedded to traditional channels for their contact with government services. While a growing number of these citizens indicate a desire to shift to online channels, there remains a significant proportion of overall internet users (38%) unwilling to use eGov services. These are referred to in the EC Benchmark report as the ‘non-believers’.

So what can be done to turn non-believers into eGov believers?

Some citizens are simply unaware of what public services they can access online. The report puts a figure of 21% of non-believers in this category, with many of them being students or other young people who have good digital skills. This points to a need for considerably more communication or run the risk of digital exclusion. Social media, particularly, amongst digitally savvy students, could help to increase awareness.

An even bigger percentage of the non-believers (80%) say they are just ‘unwilling’ to use eGov services and many of them prefer face to face contact above the online channel. This is despite the fact that 62% of them use the internet on a daily basis. Governments should focus on increasing customer centricity, improving service design by mixing channels and optimizing personalisation, building trust through social engagement and possibly legislation to make the online channel the only channel through which to engage with their services.

Currently, however, whilst the use of both social media and mobile is increasingly ubiquitous for personal or commercial activities, governments have been slow in exploiting these new channels. Digital inclusion demands that this process is speeded up.
To find out more about the national strategies for converting non-believers to eGov, download the 2012 report here.

About the author

Dinand Tinholt
2 Comments Leave a comment
I think that there is a lot of "will" to change and adapt within various government agencies worldwide, however the main impediment looks like the arduous buying process due to various regulatory compliance processes. Creating awareness is a part of it, however more importantly the citizen centric services need to be easy to use. For developed countries, access to IT infrastructure is taken for granted, however in developing countries, one of the main reasons for failure is due to putting in citizen portals without considering the ground realities about the available infrastructure. In such cases, the backbone infrastructure needs to be strengthened before going in for extensive automation of processes. For developed countries, incentivising the e-services may be the key to encourage citizens to go for such services.
Hi, when a product releases in the market, people get aware of that product because of companies advertising logic's and product's positive response from different users. The government must take certain awareness programs to make the people know the benefits and make them believe that the E-governance system is entirely more friendly and there is nothing fraud be done with your details. If the government fails to do this, people are unaware to E-govern system and it remains useless.

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