News archive - eGovernment Development in the WBCs

Electronic Government (eGov) can increase efficiency, enhance transparency, collect more revenue and facilitate a reform of the public sector that aims at improved services for the citizen, reinforced democratic procedures and effective support of governmental policies. This is also true for the WBCs.

The WBCs, in view of their European prospect, owe not only to advance in the adoption of the European acquis, but also to converge with the levels of growth of EU Member States. Thus, the incorporation of ICTs in their governance is an integral part of the process to unleash their potential and mitigate chronic problems. Increasingly, the WBCs emphasise the development of eGov tools and therefore, investments in the sector are rising.

The INA Academy – Hellenic Aid ‘Center for eGovernance Program @ SEE’ was launched in May 2008 to underpin this development and support WBC governments in the process of human capacity building and eGov project design. The competent ministries or authorities for ICT from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the FYR of Macedonia and Serbia participated as primary partner institutions from each country. The program was placed under the operational framework of the regional Center for eGovernance Development - CeGD.

The “Center” delivered a set of executive eGov training seminars and an electronic learning platform that enabled more than 250 public administration staff members in the WBCs to increase their understanding of eGov processes and project building methodologies. The programme also delivered research studies that investigated the current level of eReadiness and eGov development in the WBCs and provided useful insights on the factors that inhibit faster growth. Five factors were found to be critical for the successful implementation of eGov services in the WBCs, including political commitment to the reform process, the availability of ICT infrastructure, institutional capacity, the underlying legal framework related to electronic administration and eGov strategic planning.

Despite the adoption of a strategy that includes eGov development and the available relevant legislative framework, eGov services are still in the early stage of development. A comparative analysis was implemented assessing the level of sophistication in the development of 23 basic public services. In most cases, the sophistication level reached in the provided services is still rather low, even in those marked as complete. This status quo is expected to cut-off significant foreseen benefits that eGov services have to offer. National eGov strategies have not yet tapped issues related to interoperability between existing and planned eGov systems and the necessary organisational and institutional arrangements. In this context, WBCs still need to ensure strong political commitment and active involvement of the entire society in eGov and IS development.

Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
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Entry created by Katarina Rohsmann on October 27, 2009
Modified on October 27, 2009