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Is Estonian local e-government responsive to citizens' needs? The case study of Tartu

Is Estonian local e-government responsive to citizens' needs? The case study of Tartu This paper examines citizens' interaction with local government. The main concern of the paper is how the citizens of Estonia use the Internet for local services. It presents an empirical study supported by direct observation of websites with an accompanying description of e- and m-services being implemented or planned, and provides data from a survey conducted among citizens of a major city. My findings show that the indicators of access to the Internet, use of the Internet and mobile phones are very high in all age groups. Also, the evaluation given by the people to the website of the city council is high in different categories. The e- and m-services the city government has implemented or is planning to implement are innovative. However, the citizens' readiness to use them is low. If there is any interest, it is mainly limited to every-day-life services like m-parking etc. Forums or other services implemented to provoke citizens' involvement are not attractive. Finally, my paper discusses the impact of these results, referring to the theoretical framework, and states that the key factor for interactive communication is motivation. Should interactive communication – even if only "consumerism" of entertainment services – become a routine, it might provide a solution to problems stemming from the perceived disconnection of political and administrative institutions from citizens' everyday concerns. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

Is Estonian local e-government responsive to citizens' needs? The case study of Tartu

Information Polity , Volume 11 (3) – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by IOS Press, Inc
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
Publisher site
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Abstract

This paper examines citizens' interaction with local government. The main concern of the paper is how the citizens of Estonia use the Internet for local services. It presents an empirical study supported by direct observation of websites with an accompanying description of e- and m-services being implemented or planned, and provides data from a survey conducted among citizens of a major city. My findings show that the indicators of access to the Internet, use of the Internet and mobile phones are very high in all age groups. Also, the evaluation given by the people to the website of the city council is high in different categories. The e- and m-services the city government has implemented or is planning to implement are innovative. However, the citizens' readiness to use them is low. If there is any interest, it is mainly limited to every-day-life services like m-parking etc. Forums or other services implemented to provoke citizens' involvement are not attractive. Finally, my paper discusses the impact of these results, referring to the theoretical framework, and states that the key factor for interactive communication is motivation. Should interactive communication – even if only "consumerism" of entertainment services – become a routine, it might provide a solution to problems stemming from the perceived disconnection of political and administrative institutions from citizens' everyday concerns.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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