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Benchmarking EU e‐government at the crossroads: A framework for e‐government benchmark design and improvement

Alexander R.M. Schellong (National Center for Digital Government, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA CSC, Neuss, Germany)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 12 October 2010




The purpose of this paper is to offer insights and suggestions for the design of existing and future e‐government benchmarks.


The paper presents several frameworks to structure the discussion of e‐government benchmark design based on a review of existing research and practice. Second, it provides an overview of relevant benchmarking activities including new insights on the European Union's (EU's) benchmarking activities. Finally, suggestions for the future design of the EU's benchmarking are made.


The scope of prominent e‐government benchmarks is mostly on the supply/output side and a development stage model of a selection of government (online) services. Benchmarks follow underlying cause‐and‐effect frameworks. Capturing government transformation also remains a core challenge. To discuss the design of e‐government benchmarks, a three‐tier structure is proposed: guiding principles, benchmark methodology, and reporting and learning. Overall, governments around the globe are facing significant changes in the coming years which will shape their thinking on digital government in general and the priorities for benchmarking it in particular. Among others, these are the trade‐off between free market and regulation, demographic change and the information economy.

Practical implications

The paper provides policy makers and consultants with a framework to approach and discuss e‐government benchmarks in general and the future design of the EU e‐government benchmark in particular.


The paper analyzes existing e‐government benchmarks, presents a framework for designing e‐government benchmarks and makes a range of recommendations on changes to the methodology of the EU e‐government benchmark.



Schellong, A.R.M. (2010), "Benchmarking EU e‐government at the crossroads: A framework for e‐government benchmark design and improvement", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 365-385.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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