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Towards excellence in e‐governance

K.B.C. Saxena (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 October 2005




E‐governance initiatives are common in most countries as they promise a more citizen‐centric government and reduce operational cost. Unfortunately most of these initiatives have not been able to achieve the benefits claimed. Often the reason for this failure is a techno‐centric focus rather than a governance‐centric focus. The aim of this paper is to explore the necessary attributes of a governance‐centric initiative under the banner “excellent e‐governance” (e2‐governance), and describe a methodology for ensuring such excellence in e‐governance implementations.


The paper follows a case study approach for developing the concept of excellent e‐governance. It first conceptually differentiates between e‐government and e‐governance and describes the status of e‐governance in developing countries. It then differentiates between the two approaches to e‐governance: techno‐centric and governance‐centric. Next, the attributes of excellent e‐governance are explored in detail, and illustrated by two case studies. Then, the major issues for bringing excellence to e‐governance initiatives are identified. Last, a methodology under development, called “e‐governance engineering”, is described, which when applied to an e‐governance initiative, will ensure excellence.


Excellence (or governance‐centricism) in e‐governance requires the initiative to be effectiveness‐driven and not merely efficiency‐driven. This will require the initiative to be led by a “good governance” driven goal/purpose: additionally, the initiative must be outcome‐focused.

Practical implications

There has been a dearth of methodologies for implementing e‐governance initiatives, and an increase in the number of failed e‐governance projects. This paper proposes a methodology, “e‐governance engineering”, which aims to fill this gap and at the same time bring excellence to the e‐governance initiatives implemented.


The paper introduces the notion of “excellence” in e‐governance (e2‐governance), which is supposed to be the goal of all e‐governance initiatives. It also introduces a methodology to accomplish this goal. It is hoped that the methodology will help public administrators and public organisations in successfully designing and implementing e‐governance projects, thereby contributing to enhanced governance at optimal cost.



Saxena, K.B.C. (2005), "Towards excellence in e‐governance", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 498-513.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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