State of the Art Impact Indicators – Scientific Approach

Impact is defined as a forceful consequence; a strong effect. E-government polices, projects and services may have impact on the economy, society, administration. Impact is in most cases seen as a positive effect such as increased efficiency, participation and/or effectiveness. However, negative impact also exists such as reduction of staff which clearly has a negative for the people affected.

Impact is challenging to assess as the actual impact is often unknown until the policy, project of service has been set in effect, or too complex to measure.

This post is based on a Impact Indicators: State of the art survey at eGovernment Monitoring Network workshop by Morten Goodwin Olsen and Annika Nietzio and eGovMon wiki on impact.

The post includes a state of the art survey scientific work and practical surveys on assessing e-government impact.

eGovernment measurement for policy makers

Source: eGovernment measurement for policy makers, Millard.

According to Millard, the overall goal of a policy is expressed in the terms of its ultimate impacts. These will normally not be expressed as eGovernment objectives, but rather as societal objectives to which successful eGovernment development should contribute, such as:

  • economic productivity,
  • economic growth,
  • jobs,
  • competitiveness,
  • local and regional developments,
  • environmental improvement and sustainable development,
  • inclusion,
  • democracy, participation and citizenship,
  • quality of life / happiness,
  • increased justice and security and
  • universal human rights and peace.

Understanding and Measuring eGovernment: International Benchmarking Studies

Source: Heeks, Benchmarking eGovernment 2006
According to Heeks, the focus on eGovernment activities evolves from readiness to availability. From this it evolves to uptake and finally impact. Heeks claims that impact includes efficiency, effectiveness and awareness.

He further claims that impact should be measures as benefit for the citizen, financial benefits and back office changes.
Finally, he recommends that greater use of survey methods are needed to assess e-government outputs and impact.
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impact from readiness to impact

impact from readiness to impact

Measuring eGovernment Impact

Source:  Measuring e-Government Impact: Existing practices and shortcomings (Peters et al, 2004)

According to Peters et. al., an efficienct e-government measurements need to: take into account the backoffice situations, establish a relationship between resources and results and include situation at different levels.

Benchlearning for eGovernment Measurements

Overview of eGep

eGep Framework

Overview of eGep

Overview of eGep

3 Responses to State of the Art Impact Indicators – Scientific Approach

  1. […] give an overview of some practical survey assessing impact. In contrast to the scientific approach addressed previously, these are surveys which have been conducted in practice where there exists […]

  2. Arild Hansen says:

    We are searching for shock indicators for our pressure vessels for private use in composite material for LPG. The intention is to have any kind of indicator connected to every LPG vessel that can indicate that the unit has experienced a drop and therefore may have been damaged in a degree that the unit need an technical investigation/testing.
    Do you have any recommendations and do you have a representative in Norway or northern Europe?

    Best regards,

    Arild Hansen,
    development dep.
    Ragasco AS

    • Hi Arild,

      The indicators discussed here are related to governments. These are intended to give an indication of how well a government performs in a certain area and, specifically, how much impact government actions have on society, the citizens etc.

      Shock indicators are not within scope of this topic.


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