Stratford Institute Report: Evaluation of Provincial and Territorial e-Government Initiatives
From the Executive Summary:
"This report, commissioned by the Stratford Institute for Digital Media to be presented at the Canada 3.0 2012 conference and prepared by Brainmaven Research, takes an in-depth look at one area of Canadians’ online lives: interaction with government, specifically at the provincial and territorial levels. Using a three-tiered evaluation framework developed through national stakeholder consultations and modeled from existing frameworks for evaluating eGovernment services, we explore how well average citizens are able to complete basic government services online, such as changing one’s address on a driver’s license; access government information online, such as researching available financing options for starting a business; and engage and interact with their government online, such as tweeting in response to an important civic issue posted on an official government Twitter feed."
"Based on a scoring framework that awards points as governments move from using the Internet as a static, one-way communication channel to an interactive, two-way communication channel to an integrated, citizen-centric, multi-channeled web interface, we rank the eGovernment initiatives of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories in the provision of online services and information as well as online engagement as measured through use of social media.Top performers in each category are: Québec for its provision of citizen-centric online services; Ontario for its provision of integrated online information; and Alberta for its effective use of social media to engage with citizens online (...) "
"Overall, our evaluation reveals that most provincial and territorial governments are moving towards incorporating available technology in their present provision of online services and information. In particular our provincial and territorial governments are creating a citizen-centric online environment, enabling online submissions and transactions for many basic personal and business-related services and taking advantage of technology to create an integrated experience for citizens through the use of deep-linked content that spans ministerial, departmental, and at times even governmental boundaries."However, in the Forward, Stratford Institute executive director Ian E. Wilson writes:
"More could be done to evaluate whether all current government publications are online and searchable. British Columbia is leading the way on an Open Government initiative seeking to follow national governments in opening government data bases for new public uses. In a knowledge economy, it is essential that we mobilize our knowledge resources, and governments hold vast amounts of authoritative information about our society, our land, our economy and our experience as Canadians. To the greatest extent possible, within the bounds of respect for individual privacy, this information needs to be opened to support innovation and new economic uses."
"Finally, I would note that it was difficult to evaluate progress in developing governments’ online presence. No jurisdiction has maintained its older versions of its websites online. These provide older information, essential for longitudinal studies of the economy and society trends, and also reflect how governments are fulfilling commitments to accountability and transparency. I assume each jurisdiction has enabled its library or archives to preserve the evolving website. Without this capability, websites are transitory, ghostlike things, vanishing into the ether, leaving no trace, and, certainly no accountability."The Stratford Institute for Digital Media was established through a partnership of the University of Waterloo, the City of Stratford, Open Text Corporation, and the Canadian Digital Media Network.
[Source: Canadian Association of Research Libraries E-lert]