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Electronic Government and Participation: Success Factors for its Development

David Sancho Royo

At the beginning of XXI century, the knowledge, not only the information, is the most important raw material of our public administrations work. Little by little, a new paradigm of social relations is raised within the interaction framework between public power and citizen. The intensive use of the new technologies of the communication offer new opportunities, new challenges and new risks in the citizen - State relation.

The political capacity of our national, subnational and local governments to canalize these opportunities, becomes an important growth factor for the social, political and economic development of our societies. But simultaneously, it is essential to guarantee that the development is balanced, without exclusion in the access and the use of the new forms of citizen - government link by neither economic, nor social, nor cultural, nor territorial reasons.

In this paper it is reviewed, in the first place, the concept of electronic government, distinguishing between different initiatives in this field. It is outstanding to emphasize the importance to adapt the e-government initiatives to the different sociocultural and economic areas. Anglo-Saxon administrative environment is not equal than European continental one, and these are different governmental models than Latin America ones. Each one requires a specific adaptation of the guidelines of the e-government conception and mechanisms.

Secondly, it is studied the impact of the introduction of the electronic administration initiatives on the economic and social development, with special reference to the subject of the governance, the citizen participation and the new forms of interaction between administration and citizens. The technology offers new opportunities and simultaneously new problems to solve, in special the relative ones to the inequality in the participation and the consolidation of the political and social legitimacy of the governments. This challenge requires a strong political and technical effort to confront it.

Thirdly, it is analysed the configuration, development and evaluation of the implementation strategies of the electronic government. We try to define a serie of success factors that can constitute excellent indicators for the public manager, at the time of facing up to the process of design, implementation and evaluation of electronic government programs.

This paper combines the political and theoretical reflection. Social, economic and legal analysis are included with the study of examples of electronic government and administration programs, which could serve as a referential framework.

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