E-government, e-society, and Jordan: Strategy, Theory, Practice, and Assessment

On the lovely CIA website, I found the definition of Jordon to apply to our article, Group 4 read. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/jo.html

The Hashmite Kingdom of Jordon is a small Arab country, lacking water and other natural resources such as oil. “Debt, poverty, and unemployment are fundamental problems, but King ABDALLAH, since assuming the throne in 1999, has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards”. Our article goes in depth providing research for the e-government implementation for Jordon. The authors do not go in depth about the needs of the country; rather they touch on the burning issues the country needs to face before implementing the Informational Communications Technologies. (ICT) These ICT are assumed by developing countries to lead to improvements in areas such as governance, democracy, efficiency, and economic competitiveness.

However the dilemmas arise as to how much does the government expose their developing nation to the western and developed countries ideas in the ICT?

A few key points the authors rose for the country of Jordan were:
– Balance the needs of people with the country’s pressures of globalization
– Change can be driven by technology and techno logy can be molded by the need for change-
– The move from an ‘information society occurs when information rather than materials are most of the exchanges throughout society.
– Developing an ICT strategy requires massive investment into the physical infrastructure

Like many developing countries, Jordan feels the need to adopt the ICT due to:
Competition: “In a networked borderless world, investors have a low switching cost to move from one country to the other, governments that are not business and citizen-centric will not be able to compete. This necessitates a fundamental shift in the way government operates and hence the importance of e-Government." (Jordan, Ministry of Post and Communications (MOPC), 2002b)

Fear of Isolation: “Ignore the Internet and become globally isolated. Embrace the Internet and be obliged to invest in an ICT infrastructure designed by western multinational corporations, use their software, adopt their business and governance processes, and try to be as much alike them while still trying to retain national and cultural identities”

What Jordon thought E-government could do for them after studying other countries systems?
· Improve the quality of government service delivery – faster and easier interaction
· More gov’t info public
· Government more responsiveness by providing more information and services to the public, and creating a new mode of contact between government and the public.
· Save time, money, and other resources for both government and process users by more efficient gov’t processing
· Information technology skill developments for people and companies

Disintermediation
Disintermediation needs to be looked at by the Jordanian government. Similar to the digital divide, is a multidimensional process. It can both empower and damage.
“The foundation of disintermediation is the ability of the consumer to go directly to the producer of a product or service. The consumer is then limited to the products or services of that single producer. Ultimately, this drawback will prevent the extinction of the intermediary." (Stawski, 2001)
The power of the communities in Jordan makes up the countries history. Will the community’s suffer with this technology?
Examples of Disintermediation:
– The Internet allows individuals to maintain a Web site and have the same global visibility as a major corporation
– The Internet empowers women, particularly in communities and cultures where women’s mobility is restricted
– The Web allows individuals to fight corporate power, and geopolitical information control
– The Internet and globalize communications networks, enables developing nations around the world to use time zones to their advantage. India – can work while we sleep
– The Internet can be used to link citizens directly and effectively to cultural resources and educational services
– These educational and resource developments demonstrate the size of the challenge for most developing nations

Ingrid

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