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

  • Jane Wangari Njuru Honorary Executive Director, Links Africa

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

Author Biography

Jane Wangari Njuru, Honorary Executive Director, Links Africa
Dr. Njuru is an experienced professional in public policy and administration, international development and public sector governance, with more than 15 years working experience both in Africa and U.S. Her special interest is empowering citizens to effectively participate in the political and public policy processes through creating awareness and building citizens’ capacity to play an active role in public policy development and implementation. She is a strong advocate for equal access to quality education and skills development particularly among women and youth so that they can achieve their full potential and fairly compete in their immediate environment, nationally and globally. Dr. Njuru is the Editor in Chief of the peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Global Affairs and Public Policy (JGAPP). She launched JGAPP at a timely moment when no part of the world can afford to ignore what is taking place in the rest of the world, due to the interconnectedness and interdependence of the global affairs. Since 2005 to present, Dr. Njuru has also been working as a consultant at the World Bank headquarters, Washington DC. She has also provided technical and operational support in development projects focusing on alleviation of poverty through provision of quality education, from basic to higher education. Dr. Njuru has also been involved in research related on quality of higher education in Africa. Prior to joining the World Bank, Dr. Njuru worked with the American Red Cross with Hurricane Recovery Program - a national recovery initiative tailored and implemented locally—to restore and improve the lives of those who had endured unimaginable losses. She was charged with the responsibility of planning, monitoring and evaluating the program - working with individuals, groups, foundations, corporations, faith-based organizations, civic, educational, service and neighborhood groups. She also managed complex client data across multiple agencies and prepared credible report for management’s decision making. Dr. Njuru is the founder and honorary Executive Director of Links Africa, an international nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that provides girls with scholarships to access quality education. As a founder member, she provided the technical assistance to start-up the organization, recruited a board of directors, advisory board, and a robust team of volunteers in both Africa and U.S. Jane holds a PhD in Public Policy & Administration with a concentration in Leadership from Walden University, Minnesota in United States. She also has a Masters Degree in Public Policy specializing in International Development from the American University in Washington, DC and a Bachelors degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the United States International University, San Diego, CA, United States. Her PhD research focused on how information communication technologies (ICTs) could enhance citizens’ participation in governance in Kenya, an interest she hopes to share with fellow Kenyans in support of citizens’ demand for transparency and accountability in all facets of public administration

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Published
2011-09-22
Section
Original Research