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Measuring public value of e-governance projects in India: citizens’ perspective

Parul Jain Gupta (Delhi School of Management, Delhi Technological University, New Delhi, India)
Pradeep Suri (Delhi School of Management, Delhi Technological University, New Delhi, India)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Most of the existing studies in e-governance context have attempted to measure public value of projects in terms of quality of services provided, cost effectiveness of public organizations and extent to which public organizations are able to meet their social objectives. However, it is also important to explore variables influencing public value to pursue for attaining high public value from such projects. This paper aims to attempt to explore such variables based on Situation-Actor-Process (S-A-P) framework. In India, physical presence of citizens is still required at many public centers established for delivering a variety of government services. A citizen at the time of his visit to a public service center faces a situation, deals with different actors and is subjected to a set of processes. At the end of the service cycle, the citizen develops a perception about public value of the e-governance project. The paper aims at exploring the likely influence of “Improved Situation”, “Capability Level of Actors” and “Flexible Process Workflow” on “Public Value” of e-governance projects.

Design/methodology/approach

On the basis of a review of literature, variables likely to be influencing public value have been identified in terms of situation, actors and processes. A questionnaire was designed, and a survey conducted to measure public value and S-A-P-related variables in the context of two e-governance projects, namely, Passport Seva Project and Driving License Project in India. Survey data have been analyzed to study the influence of S-A-P-related variables on the public value of e-governance projects. Learning issues have been synthesized in terms of implications for practitioners as well as researchers for enhancing public value of e-governance projects.

Findings

The study has revealed that a citizen-centric e-governance project with observed high value of conceptualized S-A-P variables is expected to be characterized by high public value. The analysis has also reflected upon a need for an in-depth study to explore empirically validated linkages between S-A-P variables and public value of e-governance projects.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on a pilot study in the context of two citizen-centric e-governance projects. It is required to study more such projects for the purpose of validating the proposed framework and arriving at generalized findings.

Practical implications

The study results are expected to sensitize practitioners to keep in view conceptualized variables related to situation, actors and processes while planning for citizen-centric e-governance projects. This may result in improved situation at the public service centers, better performance of employees and more flexible processes which may further help to increase the public value of such projects.

Practical implications

E-governance projects can perform a vital role in improving public value. In the context of India, a key objective of e-governance projects is to improve the service delivery of citizen-centric projects. The findings of the pilot study, based on the select two citizen-centric e-governance projects in India, reflect upon the likely relationship between public value and S-A-P variables. Thrust on improving situational aspects, as conceptualized in this study, is expected to improve comfort level of citizens while taking benefit of IT enabled services of government organizations. Better capability of actors at public organizations is likely to build trust and confidence among citizens toward these services. Adoption of flexible processes by public organizations is expected to ensure seamless delivery of services to citizens through alternate options. Enhanced delivery of services satisfies the need for improved public value and create positive attitude among society toward public organizations. It contributes to satisfaction level of citizens in terms of saving of time, money and efforts.

Originality/value

A review of literature has revealed a few studies undertaken in recent past with focus on measurement of public value in e-governance context. This paper is based on a novel idea of exploring the likely relationship between conceptualized S-A-P-related variables and public value of citizen-centric e-governance projects. Recommendations based on learning issues are expected to trigger suitable interventions to generate high public value from such projects.

Keywords

Citation

Jain Gupta, P. and Suri, P. (2017), "Measuring public value of e-governance projects in India: citizens’ perspective", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 236-261. https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-07-2016-0043

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited