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By Shakhlo Khasanova, Senior specialist of the Center of “E-government development” in

Uzbekistan
E-GOVERNMENT IN UZBEKISTAN: CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR

DEVELOPMENT

INTRODUCTION

The main aim of this paper is to evaluate current progress in e-government development in
Uzbekistan, to point out existing problems and to show what is needed to be done to perfect e-
government system.
From early start of e-commerce, customers understood the convenience of service provided
by electronic means. As recipient of government services, taxpayers started to expect same
quality of services as in business sphere. From this moment on the idea of e-government was
given birth. All over the world, each country started transitioning to electronic way of rendering
service to meet citizens (Government-to-consumer) satisfaction from services received. The
opportunities offered by the digital development of recent years, whether through online
services, big data, social media, mobile apps, or cloud computing, are expanding the way we
look at e-government (UN E-government survey-2014,2).
Extensive e-government development in Uzbekistan initiated with accordance presidents
decree #1989 dated from 2013 by Ministry for development information technologies and
communications. The United Nations E-Government Survey, which published every 2 years by
the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, serves as tool for decision-making to identify
areas of strength and challenges in e-government development in Uzbekistan.
ВODY
In this world of globalization, governments worldwide are under pressure to reform and
innovate rendered services. Countries choose different strategies and approaches in accordance
with their culture to establish the ICT system in public sector. The active use of ICT in
transformation traditional government into electronic government results the system to be
transparent, accessible, accountable and effective. Greater the e-government service quality
better the trust in offered services citizens may accomplish . However, e-government does not
just mean to put more computers or create a website of government. It aims a provision of
information and services of state. It aims to create the atmosphere between citizens and the state.
Public sector plays an essential of coordination role in adoption of ICT as it has larger use
and access to computers rather than other sectors. Besides this, its policy and regulations exerts
possible influence in the diffusion of the ICT throughout the country. However Government of
some of the developed countries have achieved desired level of satisfaction in offering e-services
to their citizens; but some of the countries are still lagging behind in offering the quality of e-
services. Long queues for getting single government paper still occurs especially in countries
with low access to internet and technologies. Hence, citizens’ awareness of e-government
systems and services is notoriously low . Indeed, low-resource settings, in which people might
benefit the most from the use of government information and services, are the least likely to have
access to the Internet . As known, two skills essential for successful interaction with e-
government systems are the ability to operate hardware and software and the ability to recognize
what kinds of information can solve a problem . Whereas the analysis made say that the most
critical of these challenges are neither the technical skills required to interact with the system nor
problems with traditional conceptions of “access” to technology but, rather, challenges related to
how access is negotiated as well as how trust is fostered and maintained .
Although gaps in awareness are daunting, research has shown that e-government
intermediaries can be pivotal in successfully increasing the awareness of e-government services .
Given the vital role, these individuals play in enabling access to and use of e-government
systems, understanding these differences can inform how systems may be designed to better
support their access and use by low-income population .
The relationship of citizens with the government is extremely important for interaction
between citizens and state authorities as well as for social sphere and for the whole economy.
Besides the relationship, there is another concern to take into account, which is the quality of the
services provided. Moreover, the digital divide typically refers to the disparity between
individuals who engage with digital technology and those who do not (Norris 2001; Bruno et al.
2011; Nam and Sayogo 2011). In addition, fundamental to the digital divide is the capacity to
access technology, whether information and communication technologies or their underlying
infrastructure .
According to the UN E-Government Survey 2014 given below challenges were given as a
main reason for lagging the countries rating behind. One of the main problem for the low scoring
in the rating of e-government is geographic location meaning the landlocked countries have low
possibilities for development as their people have low access to ICT and internet services quality
is low. Besides that, the countries with low rating of e-government implementation suffer from
lack of finance for huge projects aiming to improve e-government. Another issue can be low
literacy rate of population and their resistance to changes. Analyzing UN complete e-government
survey 2014, e-readiness of countries are assessed based on 3 dimensions which are the
availability of online services, telecommunication infrastructure and human capacity. All
mentioned components are rated by the appropriate set of criteria. The assessment is done in
steps. The first step is providing with latest news and information, providing service’s quality
and speed. Besides, it includes the links’ formation and functionality. The second step is about
development where the main criteria is first starts with security followed by integrated e-
communication, language factors, complex searching, providing mobile services and providing
the state services for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. The third step includes in itself
providing multichannel services, e-participation, providing financial services, e-authentication.
The fourth step consists of mobile e-government, broadening online participation11.
After analysis of the Survey 2014, there were made some suggestions to improve
Uzbekistan`s rating by the 2016. The first thing is to compile list of 6 state organs services which
are assessed by UN. The state organs are Social Security, Economy, Health, Higher Education,
Public Education, Labor and Environment. The next is perfecting and modernizing the state
organs’ web sites based on the assessing criteria and requirements made by UN.
Improving the single interactive state services portal by implementing 2.0 BETA version
of portal and adding more interactive services and rising its efficiency, availability and creating
more possibilities for government officials, business representative and citizens.

1
The information obtained from the UN E-government Survey 2014. Available at: http://unpan3.un.org/egovkb/en-
us/Reports/UN-E-Government-Survey-2014
Implementing the single state open government data portal with publication of current
statistic and analytical data informing the people of state organs daily activity. Also providing
machine-readable information for third parties for commercial use.
In order to improve and gain Uzbekistan`s UN e-government rating in year 2016
“Electronic government” system development center under The Ministry for development of
information technologies and communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan (therafter- Center)
working closely with UN. Firstly main aim is to provide UN with full information about the state
organs’ portals possibilities and functions for evaluating in the second quarter year 2015. Next
step is to implement the single state open government data portal according to UN observations
and to improve the single interactive state services portal by implementing 2.0 BETA version of
portal as well as state portal gov.uz.
Working closely with international organizations enhances the opportunity and
possibilities of e-government development in Uzbekistan in both implementation and financing
e-government projects. Main partners who are involved in e-government development are
UNDP, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, KOICA, NIA, KIPA, KISDI, SAP AG
(Germany), Oracle (USA), Admevara (Estonia), and LG CNS (Korea).
There are other challenges facing Uzbekistan. “United Nations Public Administration
Network” (UNPAN) report points mainly on the importance of mobile applications as it links
government with its citizens. The most significant about mobile applications is its availability
and reasonability for using. It simplifies the way the services are provided to the public.
Nowadays the role of mobile applications is becoming crucial as it considered number one
device giving people access to internet. According to the Pew Research Center statistics, the
overall percentage of mobile users is 90% worldwide, 63% out of overall cell owners use their
cell phones to go online (http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/).
This stands for the fact that owing to improve service delivery system, governments have to
perfect the mobile application use and implement basic software systems.
Mobile Application. For full access to existing online services they need to be in mobile
version too as there are more mobile internet users then broadband internet users in Uzbekistan.
There were several steps taken upon developing the software system in order to improve
usability and accessibility of the portals. Implementing mobile application was main point in
agenda. “MyGov” was a mobile app of the single interactive state services portal worked out by
“Global Solutions” LLC mutually with the center of UZINFOCOM. The app was intended to
work with Android operating system. It is available to download in www.play.google.com.
After putting the system into practice with smartphones like “Samsung Galaxy S4”,
“Samsung Note 3”, “Samsung Galaxy S2”, some unintended defects occurred. The shortcomings
of the app are: first, the mobile app was deliberated for users registered in ID.UZ; second, the
absence of direct authorization; third, the app gives an opportunity only to use “Sending request
to state bodies” service; fourth, the app wasn’t worked out for other operating systems like iOS,
Windows Phone2.

2
Provider with information is “Global Solutions” LLC. The report is made to inform with the shortcomings of the
application and point reasons for those. Available at: http://sharh.uz/siyosat/item/619-yagona-interaktiv-davlat-
xizmati-portali-mobil-ilovasi
There are some possible solutions given upon those challenges including improvement of
mobile technology and mobile government including in itself getting state services through SMS,
mobile banking, mobile healthcare, and mobile education. Solution through mobile technologies
is real as mobile internet and mobiles applications are more accessible and available nowadays.
Another feasible approach is to improve CRM system and to strengthen social media tools. The
main reason why customer relationship management is important is that nowadays customer
satisfaction is considered the main tool in maintaining the services even in the sphere of e-
government. Having good relationships with foreign developed countries play a key role as
developed countries can be actively used in developing e-government accountability and
transparency.
Awareness of people with provided services is very important. There is a fact that when a
user gets positive impression of using the state services online after feeling its convenience, only
in this case s/he can become the strongest tool of advertising e-government. Advertisements on
TV, internet and billboards are not that effective as peer-to-peer advertising in the case of e-
government. The only reason for this is that people are so accustomed to the traditional ways of
applying services that they just ignore the change as they deem it ineffective and inefficient.
Possible solution can be organizing trainings to better introduce benefits from e-government
services.
Graph # 1. Infographic on Strength and Weaknesses of E-government based on UN
E-government Survey- 2014.
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