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eGovernment and mGovernment Integration: Role in Public Administration Reform

eGovernment and mGovernment Integration: Role in Public Administration Reform

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Published by zlatan.sabic2760
Strapped between 20th century that’s marked with permanently engraved suffering, and globally oriented 21st century, BiH continues to evolve. Throughout its recent history, Bosnia went through one-party, unitary system as part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), trubulent war, post Dayton state of independency, up to its current status of economic, political and ideological transition – resulting in a situation where efficient and effective public administration is essential, and in BiH, the public administration requires a serious reform. Under constant pressure to streamline its public administration reform (PAR) processes, information and communication technologies (ICT) are key element of government activities. Specifically, eGovernence, and mGovernence as a subsector, has immediate impact on the overall re-engineering of PAR, as well as its support toward a more efficient and effective administration. This paper establishes the link and effect of eGovernment and mGovernment on PAR, as well as analyses realistically the situation within BiH for exploiting the eGovernment and mGovernment to it full potential.

Nevertheless, eGovernence and mGovernenece, as well as overall ICT usage is not panacea, and it is clear that it has to have a clear approach, strategy as well as action plan in order to have an positive impact. One way to do this is through regional frameworks, such as Electronic South Eastern Europe Initiative, an intergovernmental platform of the countries of the Western Balkans who jointly employed ICT as a strategic tool for economic growth, employment rise, EU integration and long-term stability of the region. The strategic efforts of these regional frameworks are focused on Information Society development, encapsulated in Electronic South Eastern Europe (eSEE) Agenda (2002/2007) and eSEE Agenda Plus (2007/2012), and both of these strategic documents are supplemented by Taskforce for Broadband Action Plan (bSEE) position on eGovernment, as well as mGovernment – as central development point within agenda in the upcoming period.
Strapped between 20th century that’s marked with permanently engraved suffering, and globally oriented 21st century, BiH continues to evolve. Throughout its recent history, Bosnia went through one-party, unitary system as part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), trubulent war, post Dayton state of independency, up to its current status of economic, political and ideological transition – resulting in a situation where efficient and effective public administration is essential, and in BiH, the public administration requires a serious reform. Under constant pressure to streamline its public administration reform (PAR) processes, information and communication technologies (ICT) are key element of government activities. Specifically, eGovernence, and mGovernence as a subsector, has immediate impact on the overall re-engineering of PAR, as well as its support toward a more efficient and effective administration. This paper establishes the link and effect of eGovernment and mGovernment on PAR, as well as analyses realistically the situation within BiH for exploiting the eGovernment and mGovernment to it full potential.

Nevertheless, eGovernence and mGovernenece, as well as overall ICT usage is not panacea, and it is clear that it has to have a clear approach, strategy as well as action plan in order to have an positive impact. One way to do this is through regional frameworks, such as Electronic South Eastern Europe Initiative, an intergovernmental platform of the countries of the Western Balkans who jointly employed ICT as a strategic tool for economic growth, employment rise, EU integration and long-term stability of the region. The strategic efforts of these regional frameworks are focused on Information Society development, encapsulated in Electronic South Eastern Europe (eSEE) Agenda (2002/2007) and eSEE Agenda Plus (2007/2012), and both of these strategic documents are supplemented by Taskforce for Broadband Action Plan (bSEE) position on eGovernment, as well as mGovernment – as central development point within agenda in the upcoming period.

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Published by: zlatan.sabic2760 on Feb 20, 2009
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eGovernment and mGovernment Integration:Role in Public Administration ReformMerima AVDAGIĆ, M.Sc.
The eGovernment Project Manager, UNDP BiH Marsala Tita 48, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 mavdagic@undp.ba;www.undp.ba 
 Nera NAZEČIĆ, M.A. Candidate
 Programme Manager of the eLeadership Programme for the Western Balkans/  Head of Regional Stability Pact eSEE Initiative Secretariat, UNDP BiH Marsala Tita 48, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 nnazecic@undp.ba;www.eseeinitiative.org
 
Zlatan ŠABIĆ, M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate
University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, and eGovernment Specialist, UNDP BiH Marsala Tita 48, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 zlatan.sabic@etf.unsa.ba;www.undp.ba 
Tarik ZAIMOVIĆ, M.A.
University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Economics, and  ICT Portfolio Manager, UNDP BiH Marsala Tita 48, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 tarik.zaimovic@efsa.unsa.ba;www.undp.ba 
Abstract
Strapped between 20th century that’s marked with permanently engraved suffering, and globally oriented 21
 st 
 century, BiH continues to evolve. Throughout its recent history, Bosnia went through one-party, unitary systemas part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
(
SFRY), trubulent war, post Dayton state of independency, up to its current status of economic, political and ideological transition – resulting in a situationwhere efficient and effective public administration is essential, and in BiH, the public administration requires a serious reform. Under constant pressure to streamline its public administration reform (PAR) processes,information and communication technologies (ICT) are key element of government activities.
 
Specifically,eGovernence, and mGovernence as a subsector, has immediate impact on the overall re-engineering of PAR, aswell as its support toward a more efficient and effective administration. This paper establishes the link and effect of eGovernment and mGovernment on PAR, as well as analyses realistically the situation within BiH for exploiting the eGovernment and mGovernment to it full potential. Nevertheless, eGovernence and mGovernenece, as well as overall ICT usage is not panacea, and it is clear that it has to have a clear approach, strategy as well as action plan in order to have an positive impact. One way todo this is through regional frameworks, such as Electronic South Eastern Europe Initiative, anintergovernmental platform of the countries of the Western Balkans who jointly employed ICT as a strategic tool  for economic growth, employment rise, EU integration and long-term stability of the region. The strategic effortsof these regional frameworks are focused on Information Society development, encapsulated in Electronic South Eastern Europe (eSEE) Agenda (2002/2007) and eSEE Agenda Plus (2007/2012), and both of these strategicdocuments are supplemented by Taskforce for Broadband Action Plan (bSEE) position on eGovernment, as well as mGovernment – as central development point within agenda in the upcoming period.
 
 2
 
1. Short History and Current State of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a country with a very complex and turbulent past that continues toevolve. Throughout its recent history, Bosnia went through unitary system as part of the SFRY, four years of devestating war, post Dayton state of independency proposing quite dysfunctional system of municipalities, cantons, two entities, one district and a distant central government, up to its currentstatus – which can perhaps best be described as transitional, with constant atempts to regenerate itsinert economy and move toward the European integration. With these events, public administration isin a critical shape, and in need of serious re-vamping, where ICT can play a substantive role.
1.2 Current State of Bosnia and Herzegovina
As the result of war and due to non-satisfactory reconstruction and development after the war, BiH is adisintegrated community, and this is evident in demographic, administrative and economic structuresof the country. Reforms resulting from Dayton Peace Agreement placed Bosnia in a state of ineffective and complicated four-level Federation.This complex structure also hinders work of public administration, which in turn hinders businessgrowth and development. “The current lack of legal and administrative support for business growthand presents a serious obstacle for re-integration objectives and economic prosperity”1. The burden of ‘red tape’ and inefficient administration seriously reflects on development – and therefore, the singleinformation space. By recently adopting the eSEE Agenda Plus, which is closely aligned with thei2010, a European Information Society for Growth and Employment Action Plan and other globallyrecognized approaches, BiH Government expressed their determination to introduce compatible,innovative and interoperable technologies and systems and integrated and interconnected networks,with the ultimate aim of transforming the country into economically prosperous, modern and stable place that can compete more effectively in the global market economy. Moreover, promptimplementation of this regional framework will greatly aid in avoiding the adoption of ad hocsolutions and technologies that lead to inconsistent development, incompatibility between national andlocal systems, and thus delay progress and implementation.
1
Shilling, S., (2003)
 
 3
2. The Role of ICT, eGovernment and mGovernment in PAR 
2.1 Background 
There is quite a consensus when it comes to admitting the importance that efficient and effective public administration and Government working processes have in any country, especially in a post war economy reconstruction – which is the case in BiH. It plays a crucial part in assisting growth which inturn contributes to capital generation and poverty alleviation. One way to improve and encourage public administration reform is through introduction of eGovernment and mGovernment.“mGovernment is a subset of e-government”. eGovernment is the use of ICT to improve the activitiesof public sector organizations, including public administration reform. In the case of mGovernment,those ICTs are limited to mobile and/or wireless technologies like cellular/mobile phones, and laptopsand PDAs (personal digital assistants) connected to wireless local area networks (LANs)”.eGovernment, and mGovernment as part of it, can help make public information and governmentservices available ‘anytime, anywhere’ to officials and citizens (through Government to Government(G2G), Government to Business (G2B), and Government to Citizens (G2C) services).
2.2 Effects of ICT, eGovernment and mGovernment in PAR and BiH in general 
Although the European Union and many other countries have long promoted the importance of eGovernanace and use of ICT as one of the country priorities, in Bosnia and Herzegovina the use of ICT by the government sector has only recently begun to receive the systematic attention required toturn it into a critical component of the long-term development. The adoption of sound ICT practices positively impacts governance and social services while streamlining the structural adjustment of BiH's national economy and increasing transparency. ICT is therefore a key element of enablingefficient government activities, and the BiH Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) identifies it as a priority for good democratic governance. Also, National plan for approximation of acquis (NPAA), plan for implementation of the obligations from the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), prepared by the Directorate for European Integration (DEI), and adopted by the Council of Ministersof Bosnia and Herzegovina (CoM) under the name "Program of realisation of priorities" based onEuropean partnership is the best tool when it comes to planning and programming assistance for theBosnia and Herzegovina in the next few years clearly identifies e-Government as one of the prioritiesin public administration reform in BIH. Finally, along with the other members of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe
2
, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed on to the “e-SEE Agenda” in October 2002,followed by the recent signing of “eSEE Agenda Plus” thus charging the country officials with thetask to develop eGovernment systems and ICT-based services. As a complementary process, BiHGovernment
3
is a member of eSEE Initiative corresponding arm: Taskforce for Broadband,
 
thus taking
 
 part in implementation of bSEE Action Plan
4
, whose main aim is the promotion of coordinated
2
Recently transformed into regionally owned Regional Cooperation Council with the seat in Sarajevo
3
eSEE Initiative members are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova,Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK/Kosovo. Romania and Greece are participants in the bSEETaskforce, while Romania has recently joined the eSEE Initiative formally by signing the eSEE AgendaPlus.
4
 
The ultimate goal of bSEE Taskforce is to foster the development of a unified market of broadbandnetworks fully interconnected to the European and global networks. This goal is foreseen to beaccomplished through the coordinated actions of the bSEE Taskforce with the scope of co-operationincluding the following areas:a) Regulatory harmonisation encouragement;b) Human resource development, i.e. human capital;c) Modern electronic communication technologies implementation;d) Development and monitoring of the electronic communication market;e) Excellence in research.

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