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Accountability and Information Technology Enactment: Implications for Social Empowerment

Accountability and Information Technology Enactment: Implications for Social Empowerment
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Author(s): Richard K. Ghere (University of Dayton, USA)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 18
Source title: Handbook of Research on Overcoming Digital Divides: Constructing an Equitable and Competitive Information Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Enrico Ferro (Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB), Italy), Yogesh K. Dwivedi (Swansea University, UK), J. Ramon Gil-Garcia (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico) and Michael D. Williams (Swansea University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-699-0.ch028

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the use of information technology (IT) in government and its possible impacton governance, particularly in terms of addressing the equity concerns of meeting the basic needs of regional subpopulations. In Building the Virtual State, Jane Fountain develops her theory of technology enactment (in essence, a variety of bureaucratic behaviors reacting to IT) and then applies that framework in three case studies in the book. This inquiry examines government IT enactment in various global settings to assess (1) where and how enactment occurs and (2) what, if any, effect enactment has upon governance in particular settings. The first section traces relationships between a nation’s IT development policy and that technology’s potential to promote equity in that society. The next two sections report (respectively) on the study and observations that emerge. A brief case study about the Gyandoot, an intranet system in rural India, examines the reality of e-government as a means to promote social equality. A concluding discussion reviews those observations as they relate to the human initiative in efforts to harness information technology to achieve public goals, especially those intended to improve social wellbeing in poor societies.

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