Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology for evaluating the progress of individual countries worldwide in their adoption of electronic government (e‐government) with the rapid advance in information and communication technologies (ICTs). Recognising the multi‐dimensional nature of the progress evaluation and comparison process, this paper formulates the inter‐country performance evaluation process in e‐government adoption as a multi‐criteria analysis problem and presents an objective multi‐criteria approach for solving the problem in an effective and straightforward manner. Design/methodology/approach – Several indicators (criteria) for measuring the progress of individual countries for adopting e‐government have been reviewed, and existing approaches for carrying out inter‐country comparison on e‐government have been analysed. The need for the use of an objective approach for addressing the inter‐country comparison problem is discussed. This leads to the development of an objective multi‐criteria approach for effectively solving the problem in a straightforward and effective manner. The proposed objective approach is based on the concept of information entropy which is emitted from e‐government criteria used for determining the objective weights of the e‐government criteria. The principle of ideal solutions is used for effectively incorporating the objective criteria weights into the process of calculating the overall performance index for each country. As a result, an unbiased overall ranking of individual countries on e‐government can be obtained. Findings – With the use of an example in the paper, the proposed approach is proved to be of practical use for addressing the inter‐country comparison problem on the progress of individual countries in their adoption of e‐government. The proposed approach is not only able to provide an objective view of the relative progress of those countries concerned but also pinpoint the areas that these countries can further improve to lift their overall profile worldwide on the adoption of e‐government. Practical implications – The methodology developed can be used as a decision‐making tool to support various levels of government and consultancy organizations worldwide in their effort to evaluate the adoption of ICTs in the government sector so that effective decisions can be made for enhancing and improving the use of the technology for more efficient and effective government. Originality/value – The advantages of the proposed approach for addressing the inter‐country comparison problem on e‐government are the capacity of the proposed approach for adequately handling the multi‐dimensional nature of the inter‐country comparison problem and the provision of an objective view of the overall performance of those countries in the process of evaluating the progress of these countries in their adoption of e‐government. In addition the application of the approach can also help those countries pinpoint the areas that they can further invest their effort for further improvement.
Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2008
Keywords: Internet; Government; Communication technologies; Benchmarking; National cultures; Information services