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E-Government and Civil Society: Exploring New Relationships in Pacific SIDs

  • Graham HassallEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 27)

Abstract

This chapter examines the extent to which Pacific Island governments are using ICTs to engage with civil society, through the initiation of service provision, or some form of policy dialogue. It finds that whereas moderate progress has been made with the establishment of key websites, in only a few instances have these been designed as “portals” through which the public can link to any government department or agency, or through which these departments can communicate with citizens and civil society organizations online. There has been, on the other hand, considerable growth in government activity on social media sites, which are easy to initiate and manage. More active than government-initiated sites are the social media sites established by individuals, civil society groups, think tanks and academia, for the express purpose of commenting on government policies and activities. Communicative practices between state/civil society/citizenry are still being negotiated, particularly in states where government has traditionally been the voice of authority and government information has been protected by Official Information Acts. Government and civil society alike have to work more collaboratively to maximise citizen engagement in public governance. Whilst such situations do not fit neatly into the ‘transformative’ models of e-Public Services and e-Democracy articulated by the World Bank and the UN, they do constitute a beginning to online interaction between citizen and state.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GovernmentVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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