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.
The post includes a state of the art survey scientific work and practical surveys on assessing e-government impact.
eGovernment measurement for policy makers
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,
- local and regional developments,
- environmental improvement and sustainable development,
- 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.
Measuring eGovernment Impact
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