eGovMoNet: kick-off meeting at the United Nations in Geneva
Zea Partners recently joined eGovMoNet a new European thematic network aimed at measuring the user satisfaction of e-Government solutions. In a previous article we announced the kick-off meeting, the first in a series of eGovMoNet events bringing together some of the most authoritative experts on measurement strategies, focusing their skills on the specific challenge of measuring in a consistent yet easily applicable way the levels of satisfaction relative to a great diversity of services and user catchments areas.
Meeting report Geneva, 29-30 May 2008
Among the purposes of the eGovMoNet kick-off meeting, apart from setting a foundation stone for future events, and letting people make acquaintance with each other, we find the following:
- Align the mutual expectations to the project and the collaboration.
- Establish a common understanding of the plans, administrative procedures and prospects of project.
- Start collection of information as input for the project work and deliverables.
- Clarify some initial unresolved issues.
- Get to know some of the core measurement methods currently in use.
- Introduce the first thoughts on how to describe the methods to compare them.
In a very collaborative environment, Professor Mikael H. Snaprud (Universitetet i Agder), the coordinator of eGovMoNet, acted as facilitator and “master of the house” for the first meeting. The complexity of the challenges facing the eGovMoNet network, with tasks including harmonization of strategies and criteria, and the fact that there are still unexplored aspects to deal with, can’t be overestimated.
Despite this pioneering side of eGovMoNet, the talks of this kick-off meeting were very practical and operational in nature, and included:
- Eric Velleman, of WAB-Cluster, illustrating the UWEM methodology as well as the available UWEM tools on the net
- Presentation of measurement methods like WiBe by Peter Röthig (www.wibe.de) and Christophe Strobbe, K.U.Leuven, addressing the lack of focus on end users by Unified Web Evaluation Methodology.
- Presentation by Stephen Jenner, Director Ministry of Justice, UK government about eGov Portfolio metrics - the approach adopted to the Criminal Justice System IT Portfolio
- Pascal Collotte proposed fostering of thematic networks as an useful tool to exploit the potential of EU Competitiveness & Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and ICT policy support programme (http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/ict_psp/index_en.htm)
- Jeremy Millard, of the Centre for Policy and Business Analysis, Danish Technological Institute, talked measurement and illustrated the approach linking eGovernment measurement to the policy life-cycle, suggesting to focus on local rather than national targets. That small-scale, local, specific target & measurement approach decreases (central) government control, and emphasizes the fact that measurement should link to accountability.
- Relators from leading actors in the IT consulting market, like Capgemini (Barbara Lörincz) and Deloitte (Diane Whitehouse), addressed the positive effects of the shift of focus from “a priori” assumptions to the quality as perceived by the end users: in that sense, absolute quality is not the same as user satisfaction. The emergence of new service paradigms was addressed in scenarios like United Nations eGovernment Readiness, with reference also to technical issues like strategies to define dimensions of composite indicators. All data available point to the need of an “holistic framework” and of a shift from “e-Government” to “i” (for “inclusive”)-Government.
- The eGEP measurement framework was illustrated by Luca M. Caldarelli: eGovernment Economic Project dates back to 2005 and provided a measurement framework as a tool for comparing an economic model and the corresponding expenditure study. The monitored parameters included efficiency, democracy and effectiveness indicators, and the lessons learned include difficulties in impact measurement, stressing the need for different stakeholders for different evaluations. The different orientation of models (that may be citizen-centric, oriented to cooperation/integration or to process reengineering) require different criteria and may lead to not comparable, conflicting or blurred results. The advantages of bottom-up benchmarking (“benchlearning”) were explored in detail.
As a conclusion, we can say that it was a very good, running start for eGovMoNet, whose next events may build on this very productive kick off.