eGovernment RTD 2020 – 13 research themes

eGovernment RTD 2020 – 13 research themes for eGovernment

Trust in eGovernment – Trust is a fundamental element in all aspects of government, including eGovernment. However, the processes by which trust is built, destroyed, used, or abused are poorly understood and differ from one culture to another. What conditions are necessary and what mechanisms are needed to build and maintain trust in eGovernment processes and services?

Semantic and cultural interoperability of public services – Globalisation and population movements are making societies increasingly multicultural. In principle, increased Internet access and the potential of the web for communication and education should bridge cultural boundaries. Yet, cultural and language differences continue to block effective communication and action across different countries, groups, and governmental functions. How can semantics, ontologies, or other approaches address this cultural interoperability problem? How can consistent public services be provided across cultures and languages?

Information Quality – Governments, the market, and individuals increasingly need well-defined, timely, accurate, reliable and appropriate information drawn from many sources. In the future, guaranteeing information quality will become both more important and more difficult as the number and variety information sources (including informal sources such as wikis and blogs) continues to grow. What mechanisms are needed to find, select, evaluate, and authenticate information that is appropriate for a given use?

Assessing the value of government ICT investments – After years of substantial investments of public funds, the potential benefits of eGovernment can no longer be assumed, but must be demonstrated. What frameworks, methods, and metrics are needed to appropriately monitor, evaluate, and communicate the costs and benefits of these investments? What internal and external factors influence the value of eGovernment for different stakeholders?

E-participation, citizen engagement and democratic processes – In using ICT, elected officials and civil servants must remain open and accountable in their activities, behavior, and decision-making. At the same time, government must ensure that those individuals and groups who wish to participate in democratic processes have the opportunity and means to do so. What are the social and technical dimensions of participatory democracy? How can the health of democratic discourse be measured?

Mission-oriented goals and performance management – Many eGovernment projects do not start with the primary mission of government in mind. Instead, they are often dominated by a technology-driven approach. This is similar to the situation in which a budget is structured and evaluated by the nature of expenses rather than by the public service goals that expenditures support. In both cases management attention is diverted away from the core mission. How might a mission-centric view of eGovernment change priorities, investments, practices, and assessment of results?

Cyberinfrastructures for eGovernment – Future eGovernment technology platforms could consist of a reliable, ubiquitous infrastructure that supports systems and applications assembled out of readily-available, re-usable components. However, realization of this possibility requires research in various domains including whether and how a building block-oriented ICT-industry could develop, and what types of architectures, building blocks, and standards are needed.

Ontologies and intelligent information and knowledge management (KM) – Governments are currently struggling with huge information overloads, with new and emerging ICT capabilities, and with a shortage of information management skills and human expertise. How can ontologies and KM facilities (such as search, retrieval, visualisation, text mining, and intelligent reasoning) be exploited to achieve information quality and economy, and to support KM processes in eGovernment settings?

Governance of public-private-civic sector relationships – Increasingly, governmental functions and public services incorporate significant roles for private sector or civic organizations. These roles play out in a variety of relationships from advisory, to collaborative, to contractual, to full partnerships. What principles and frameworks are needed for sharing responsibilities and exchanging information among networks of diverse organizations in ways that generate public value and satisfy public requirements for fairness, accountability, and competence?

Government’s role in the virtual world – Global electronic markets, virtual organizations, virtual identities, virtual products and services, and Internet-related crime are growing in prominence and importance. In a world that is increasingly non-physical and borderless, what are government?s roles, responsibilities and limitations?

Crossing borders and the need for governance capabilities – The scope of problems and trends that governments need to cope with vary widely in size, intensity, and complexity. Social networks, gender issues, environmental concerns, political movements, etc. reach beyond local, regional or national borders. How can government support communication, action and services across traditional borders and what governance networks are needed in such diverse cultural / technical / political contexts?

eGovernment in the context of socio-demographic change – Demographic trends with global consequences (such as age distribution, wealth distribution, immigration, and mobility and distribution of workers) are generating pressing issues in both developed and developing countries. What opportunities and risks do these demographic movements imply for governments at the various administrative and political levels? What ICT and eGovernment services will be needed in such an environment?

Data privacy and identification – On the one hand, the potential of modern ICT could be exploited to take advantage of personal information to improve the performance and quality of government services. On the other hand, privacy and personal data need to be secured and protected in order to prevent misuse and fraud. What policies, protocols, and data management mechanisms are needed to balance individual privacy protection with effective and efficient use of that information by government?


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