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Title: Listening to the ground: web and mobile technology options for public participation in government
Authors: Bagui, Laban 
Bytheway, Andy J. 
Keywords: e-Government;Public participation;E-participation;Information and communications technologies
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Abstract: E-government can be seen as governing through the use of information technology, and a key component of e-government is e-participation: the use of information and communications technologies to engage citizens more closely in government processes. Public participation is achieved by a range of means, any or all of which might benefit from the use of technology in order to reduce costs and improve effectiveness: voting at election time, referenda, consultative committees, public fora, community meetings, consumer fora, workshops, interviews, reports and other public hearing events. In South Africa, web and mobile technologies are being used but at a transactional rather than a strategic level. Despite significant investments in technology-mediated initiatives, the South African public has a generally poor opinion of government services and there are clear tensions in South African society. A review of good practice elsewhere, and the opinions of informed experts, suggests that the emphasis must be on the implementation of e-participation rather than the technologies that might facilitate it, and also on the adaptation of government processes in order to maximise the benefits and free participation from the shackles of traditional methods.
Appears in Collections:FID - Conference Proceedings

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