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What influences citizens’ expectations towards digital government? An exploratory survey

Anthony Simonofski (Faculty of Computer Science, University of Namur, Namur, Belgium, and Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Antoine Clarinval (Faculty of Computer Science, University of Namur, Namur, Belgium)
Benoît Vanderose (Faculty of Computer Science, University of Namur, Namur, Belgium)
Bruno Dumas (Faculty of Computer Science, University of Namur, Namur, Belgium)
Monique Snoeck (Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance

ISSN: 2398-5038

Article publication date: 10 June 2021

Issue publication date: 12 August 2021

238

Abstract

Purpose

Governments around the world engage in digitalization projects to improve their internal functioning and the delivery of information and services to their users, including citizens. There are several ways to implement this digitalization and, therefore, different roles for citizens, who can be considered as customers, as participants and as coproducers in a digital government. The purpose of this study is to identify which factors influence the roles citizens are willing to take in a digital government.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducted an exploratory survey in Belgium. This paper examined which factors among age, gender, occupation, education, digital literacy, government level and frequency of use of other e-services influence citizens’ roles.

Findings

Through a statistical analysis conducted on data collected from 203 citizens, this paper identifies 25 relationships between the aforementioned factors and expectations mapped to the citizens’ roles. This paper has identified relationships between expectations and government level, gender, age, occupation, use frequency of other e-services and digital literacy. On the other hand, this paper found no influence for the education level and for working in an administration.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the research field by providing insights into what citizens expect from digital government and exploring several relationships to be investigated in further research.

Originality/value

No previous work has asked directly to citizens which role they would be willing to take and, consequently, what expectations they have towards digital government. This paper contributes a usable survey instrument to achieve this and has demonstrated how it can be used to collect data from citizens. In doing so, this paper contributed valuable findings supporting Belgian policymakers in developing digital government policies that are aligned with citizens' expectations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) for their support. The research pertaining to these results received financial aid from the ERDF for the Wal-e-Cities project with award number [ETR121200003138] and the Federal Science Policy according to the agreement of subsidy no. [BR/154/A4/FLEXPUB].

Citation

Simonofski, A., Clarinval, A., Vanderose, B., Dumas, B. and Snoeck, M. (2021), "What influences citizens’ expectations towards digital government? An exploratory survey", Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 154-172. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-12-2020-0173

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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