Grimsley, Mike; Meehan, Anthony and Tan, Anna
Evaluative design of e-Government projects: A community development perspective.
Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 1(2),
The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework supporting the design and evaluation of e-government projects, especially those involving voluntary and community organisations. The research adapts a socio-economic model of community sustainability, reinterpreting it in the context of e-government. It documents the evolution of a conceptual framework for evaluative design through study of a project in London, UK. An interpretive approach was adopted, within which research was guided by the structured-case method. The research provides an evaluative framework for e-government projects featuring four forms of community capital: infrastructural, environmental, human and social. An ex post evaluation illustrates how the framework identifies design and management issues that are not considered by conventional evaluative frameworks. The main sources of data reflect project management perspectives and information from monitoring the evolution of activities undertaken by participant organisations. There has been limited direct engagement with the latter and the next phase of research will apply the framework from their perspectives to identify factors promoting and inhibiting ongoing engagement with the system. The framework provides an analytic tool for designers and managers of e-government systems, especially those which feature online community building as a strategic outcome. All project stakeholders can use the framework to structure engagement with system design and management. The distinctive contribution is to reinterpret e-government from a community development perspective. It offers a means of identifying project shortcomings ignored by methods taking a narrower approach to e-government information systems development.
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