Investigating the Potential of Mobile Phones for E-Governance in Indonesia
CPRafrica 2012/CPRsouth7 Conference, Port Louis, Mauritius, September 5-7, 2012
26 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 6, 2012
This paper brings to the fore various issues that inhibit the adoption of e-governance in developing countries, particularly in Indonesia. It articulates the importance for understanding and taking into account citizens’ needs and priorities in the application of e-governance. While the existing literature has examined e-governance mostly in isolation, this paper argues that it needs to be considered in tandem with citizen engagement through an analysis of the relationship between citizens and the state institutions. We define citizen engagement as a process of participation in state affairs that goes beyond being able to voice an opinion, but also to participate in decision-making processes. Active engagement means being able to seek greater accountability and information through increased discussion and consultation.
As mobile platforms provide the same functionality as internet kiosks and household computers, at a lower investment and operating cost (Samarajiva, 2010), this study investigates the role and potential of mobile phones in e-governance, and more specifically e-engagement. In order to determine the level of connectivity and method of engagement that Indonesian citizens have with their government, we will assess the reach and communication effectiveness of e-government initiatives through an analysis of web metrics of government websites. While the target of e-government measures involves four main groups: citizens, businesses, governments and employees (Ndou, 2004), this paper will focus on the relationship of e-government with citizens.
The paper begins with a review of several definitions of e-governance and assesses what they mean in the developing country context. Then, it goes on to evaluate the primary conditions of access and good governance for successful e-governance implementation in developing countries. Next, it examines the merits and challenges of e-government implementation in Indonesia and evaluates the current state of its development. In an evaluation of the data gathered through web analytics of government sites, it was found that mobile social media usage was an important channel through which information were accessed. Therefore, this paper proposes the need to examine the role of the mobile phone in e-governance especially with the rapid diffusion of mobile technologies in Asia and the increasing trend toward using smartphones as the main access point to the Internet in Southeast Asia (Nielsen, 2011).
Keywords: governance, mobile phones, access, citizen, applications, information, markets
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation