Implications of E-Government on Public Policy and Challenges of Adopting Technology: The case of Kenya

Jane Wangari Njuru

Abstract


E-government is increasingly becoming a fundamental tool for enhancing public administration. This paper discusses e-government’s implications on public policy formulation and implementation in Kenya. In addition, the challenges of adopting technology and organizational change are examined. Research conducted outside Sub-Saharan Africa showed that information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to enhance efficiency, policy effectiveness, citizens’ participation, and democratic values. Based on the concept of democratic values, the paper explores how e-government impacts the political agenda, rule making, and public service delivery. The central argument is that e-government is not only a tool or platform that enhances delivery of public services but also has the potential to reform the way policies are formulated and implemented in terms of efficiency, accountability, transparency, and citizens’ participation. The Key findings show that the Kenyan government has failed in disseminating information about e-government, sensitizing Kenyans on how to make use of technology to access government services, and providing incentives to encourage use of technology. Hence despite the advantages touted globally for implementing e-government, literature showed no evidence that any of the Kenyan e-government’s objectives: enhancing delivery of public services, improving information flow to citizens, promoting productivity among public servants, and encouraging citizens’ participation has been achieved.

Key Words: e-government; public policy; policy formulation; public implementation; resistance to change

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