E-government innovation for effective service delivery : a case of the Gauteng Department of Education online applications
E-government has been seen to have great impact on how the public sector conducts its business, interacts within itself, with private sector businesses and with citizens in general as the government’s clients (Van Dijk and Croucamp, 2007:60). Therefore, enhancing public sector performance through the provision of services in new, better, and often cheaper ways (though this is subject to debate) is now the key goal of most governments globally. The primary objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the newly introduced online application and learner admission system as a service delivery improvement e-government initiative in the Gauteng Department of Education public schools and the extent to which the GDE customers are ready to fully adopt the innovation. The study was guided and informed by the frameworks of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) and to some extent by the E-government Roadmap in the Developing world. Global and local literature on e-government was also reviewed in order to bring out the value of e-government implementation in public service delivery. The study engaged a mixed method approach by mixing both the qualitative and quantitative research approaches in the collection of data. Hence, while the study leaned heavily on the quantitative approach, using a survey questionnaire to collect survey data that can be numerically interpreted, qualitative data was also gathered through the use of interviews with purposefully sampled information-rich participants whose experiences the researcher wished to understand, thus enabling diverse viewpoints that cast more light upon the research problem. It was revealed in the study, that though positive benefits of e-government have been observed through the implementation of online services in the GDE, e-readiness in the Sedibeng West district to some extent is still negatively affected by low literacy levels among citizens, the prevalence of the digital divide, lack of proper enabling ICT infrastructure to support e-service delivery in schools as well as lack of public involvement in the planning of the e-government initiatives. Recommendations are made on how the challenges encountered can be addressed to speed up the implementation and citizen adoption of e-government initiatives.
- Humanities