E-government and transformation of service delivery in developing countries: The Bangladesh experience and lessons

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    Abstract

    Purpose: Since 2009, e-government has been high on governmental agenda in Bangladesh. Seen as a vehicle for improving governance and service delivery, it is also presented as a key to fighting poverty and achieving the millennium development goals. Thus, the goals of e-government remain broad and ambitious. Can a developing country such as Bangladesh realize its e-government vision? The purpose of this paper is to explore this and other related questions seeking to draw lessons that the Bangladesh experience may offer. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws primarily on secondary information, complemented by primary data gathered from various sources. In addition to an extensive review of secondary sources, necessary information was derived from websites of relevant government departments/agencies and through interviews and conversations with selected government officials having intimate knowledge on e-government projects at the field and local levels. Findings: The paper demonstrates the ways in which various e-initiatives have transformed traditional administrative systems and practices, notwithstanding the nation’s limited overall e-development. It also shows how e-innovations have helped tackle some complex challenges, thereby adding to convenience and benefits to service users. A major conclusion of the paper is that although e-government is yet to make a breakthrough in governance and service delivery, it has set the wheels of change in motion. Practical implications: E-government must be seen as a long term project, it must attract high-level political support and it requires fruitful collaboration between the public, private and non-governmental actors. Originality/value: This paper adds to the limited knowledge in the field. Lessons learned from the Bangladesh experience have much relevance to other developing countries with similar socioeconomic circumstances. The policymakers and practitioners are expected to benefit from the insights of the paper.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)368-390
    Number of pages23
    JournalTransforming Government: People, Process and Policy
    Volume10
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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