n Mousaion - Building trust in e-government : a proposal for an integrated model




There are several trust building models in consumer-supply environments, but e-government being a recent innovation has no such well defined model at this point in time. Such trust building model for e-government is needed to demystify the e-government concept and help effective adoption and use of e-government services by citizens and other stakeholders. This paper is situated in developing countries' context with evolving democracies and a history of bad governance characterised by authoritarian rule, lack of accountability and rule of law, limited transparency and little respect for human rights. The objectives of the paper are four-fold: first to demystify e-government concept; secondly to review trust building models from a cross disciplinary perspective; thirdly, to assess attempts being made by some jurisdictions to build citizens trust in e-government and shortcomings of such attempts; and finally, to propose an integrated model for building trust of citizens in e-government.

E-government is a complex field which, for the most part, remains unexplored. Besides, e-government, presents a new approach to improving service delivery to citizens with minimal contact with the service provider, except through technology. E-government is composed of various kinds of interactions, such as Business to Business (B2B), Citizens to Government (C2G), Government to Government (G2G), and Business to Government (B2G), which raise a number of ethical issues such as, system acceptability; usability of a system; system's security; interactivity; interoperability; data protection; intellectual property rights; freedom of information; universal access; privacy; confidentiality; accountability; transparency; respect for human rights, multilingualism; user satisfaction; quality of the service; system availability; transversality of processes and data to mention a few. These issues have implications for citizens' trust in e-government. Models are important tools for understanding or studying a complex problem or phenomena such as e-government. We propose an integrated model for building citizens' trust in e-government. Our proposed model is considered to be a work in progress and we invite further research to test it. It is hoped that this model would help to develop e-government environments that are trustworthy and useable by citizens. It is not meant to be one-size-fits all, but generic model that would be tailor-made for each type of e-government interaction.


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