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Uneven Progress in Meeting E-Government Challenges in Asia-Pacific

Asia Pacific Governance Institute Working Paper No. 1

15 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2010 Last revised: 9 Jun 2014

Clay G. Wescott

Asia Pacific Governance Institute; World Bank Independent Evaluation Group

Date Written: March 13, 2010


E-government holds the promise of improving administrative efficiency and citizen participation, but can also reinforce traditional administrative processes. This paper reviews the evidence, mainly from case studies, of these processes. It looks both at Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, and the wider experience. It finds that advances in information and related technologies have stepped up the pressure on governments to carry out policy and institutional reforms, while also providing some tools that facilitate the process. Yet there are financial, staffing, and cultural barriers which can slow down countries from fully adopting e-government, and achieving its benefits. E-government adoption has helped some Asia-Pacific jurisdictions to implement policy and institutional reforms. In other cases, cultural and organizational differences can slow down e-government adoption and reform efforts, unless there is careful adaptation to local context. Although there is some evidence to support these conclusions from national and cross-national surveys, most evidence is from case studies. Rigorous monitoring and evaluation of reforms is rare, with few jurisdictions measuring the performance improvement and citizen empowerment attained, nor the value-for-money achieved by necessary expenditures. With these limitations, the e-government experiences in Asia-Pacific have improved our understanding of what works and what doesn’t, what practices are transferable, and under what conditions. The paper concludes with an agenda for future research.

Keywords: E-government, Asia, Pacific, Reform, Information and CommunicationTechnology, modernize, performance, Internet

JEL Classification: L86, E62, E61, E65, G18, G28, G38, I18, l52, l98, O20, O21, O22, O23, O32, O33, O38, R58

Suggested Citation

Wescott, Clay G., Uneven Progress in Meeting E-Government Challenges in Asia-Pacific (March 13, 2010). Asia Pacific Governance Institute Working Paper No. 1. Available at SSRN: or

Clay G. Wescott (Contact Author)

Asia Pacific Governance Institute ( email )

2819 Ellicott St NW
Washington, DC 20008
United States


World Bank Independent Evaluation Group ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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