In 2010 around one-third of EU citizens were still excluded from using e-Government services through a combination of lack of skills, social conditions and affordable access to suitable technology.
Over the next 3 years we anticipate that the EGOV4U project will build a partner and European wide consensus platform of integrated approaches that will help influence e-government service delivery as well as long term strategic thinking in respect of comprehensive citizen inclusiveness.
The EGOV4U project will tackle differing aspects of these issues by employing the innovative use of both new and existing technology combined with fresh approaches to dealing with the adoption and barriers to take up.
Those that can be identified as socially or digitally disadvantaged are frequently the exact same Citizens that have been unwittingly excluded from using both central and local Government e-Services.
There is growing evidence to suggest that this very group are those that may very well benefit the greatest from making technology and on-line access easier, simpler and wherever possible cheaper or even free. Research also tends to lean toward indicting these very citizens are those who at times of weakening economic activity may well be generating the greatest demand and reliance on public service resources. To meet this demand, new approaches and new solutions must be found.
The EGOV4U project partners expect that by thinking innovatively and addressing these core critical issues we will be able to build positive outcomes (based on both Quantitive and Qualitative longitudinal research), that will further encourage and influence all levels of Governments and stakeholders across Europe to adopt measures that will assist in accelerating the take up of e-services by citizens. Of course, in many areas this can only happen if there is a step change in the pace of development of e-enabled citizen-centric service delivery.
The partners are also keenly aware that prevailing austere economic conditions across much of the European Union means that in every aspect and in every respect these services are likely to only be replicated and deployed if there is a sound and fully understood economic argument for doing so, the business case must be able to be easily understood whilst being able to withstand the rigours of necessary financial tests. During the life of and even after the end of the EGOV4U project we anticipate that’s exactly what we will help achieve.
We will do this whilst sharing and redeploying best practice e-government ICT solutions for flexible, personalised and multi-channel services; critically evaluating outcomes and lessons learned; as well as providing training and disseminating results widely across the EU.
Central to the strategy will be the closer integration into service delivery networks of organisations (e.g. 3rd Sector, NGOs) and others who can act locally with or for any excluded groups or citizens.
This project makes significant re-use of technology and is consequently highly carbon efficient.