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Research Paper

Where do e-governance projects stand


on the continuum of focus?
Ankur Aggarwal
Research Manager, Coeus Age Consulting

That 21% of the initiatives facilitate transaction or


participation for citizens is a solid progress to further
build upon
1

India started making use of information & communication technologies long time ago.
However, as is a well-recognized view, e-governance is not just about deploying the
technologies; its about what those technologies are able to deliver to the citizens. In
other words, what is an e-governance projects focus depth?
What exactly is focus depth? In simple terms, it defines what a project intends to
offer as a service. Focus depth is an important dimension for assessing the maturity of
an e-governance project.
Figure 1 E-governance Focus Definition The BAIT-P continuum

Basic
Information
Focus on
providing basic
information
about the
officers,
processes, etc.
and providing
downloadable
application
forms,
notifications,
and results of
draw.

Advanced
Information

Interaction

Focus on
providing
information
that can be
query-searched
using an engine
and can be
filtered down,
from a big
database, to
reach a specific
piece of
information

Focus on
establishing an
interaction for
solving
problem
through
helpline,
facilitating
status check of
a request
through portal
or IVRS, etc.

Transaction
Focus on
facilitating
seamless
transactions
during the
issuance of
government
documents,
payment of
government
fees or taxes,
registration of
property,
registrations
related to
business, etc.

Participation
Focus on
seeking
participation
and opinions of
citizens in
framing
government
policies, or
allowing
citizens to
report
incidences of
crime or any
other
irregularity
using GIStagged pictures

Source: Maximum Governance1, Coeus Age Consulting2, 2016

Maximum Governance, a Coeus Age Consulting initiative, intends to create a vibrant debate on innovative use of
digital in governance. The sole purpose is to create research-driven knowledge on issues related to governance by
digital, such as citizen-centricity; new models of governance based on transparency, agility and efficiency; policy;
baseline infrastructure and enabling structures and geographical nuances (India, Asia, Africa etc.)
www.maximumgovernance.com
2

Coeus (Koios) was the Greek Titan of Intelligence, the axis around which the heavens revolved. In the current
age, enterprise intelligence is the axis around which organizing takes place, a true source of strategic advantage
and success. Coeus Age Consulting is a next generation knowledge domain service provider. Coeus Age Consulting
intends to bring the latest thinking in the field of leadership, strategic management, economics, process
management, information management, and organization development to enterprises; and enable them to build
business value from IT. www.coeusage.com

The Maximum Governance analysis done by Coeus Age Consulting has discovered five
aspects of focus, arranged on an increasing continuum of services depth. Focus depth
and the underlying process depth are two important dimensions of service depth.
Here we are discussing only the focus depth.
The five aspects of the focus depth continuum, as defined in Figure 1, are: Basic
Information; Advanced Information; Interaction; Transaction; and Participation.
Focus should not be confused with the area of operation such as facilitating citizen
services such as providing land records, passport issuance or dealing with the urban
local bodies. Rather, focus here is defined in terms of whether an e-governance
initiative serves to merely provide information or also offers interaction, facilitates
transaction; or seeks participation with respect to the stakeholders. Each advanced
stage on the continuum subsumes the earlier stages. For example, participation shall
have the characteristics of all the previous five aspects.
Figure 2: Distribution of e-governance Projects by Focus

Basic Information
1.4%

Transaction/
Participation
20.9%

Advanced
Information
57.4%
Interaction 20.3%

Source: Maximum Governance, C oeus Age Consulting, 2016

E-governance in India will bring a difference in the state of affairs when more and
more projects move up the continuum and are focused on providing transactions to
the citizens or start seeking their participation in governance. With this statement,
the importance of information should not be undermined. Information indeed has the

capabilities to bring about a degree of revolution but if a department reengineers its


processes to also provide online transactions or drive participation, then the effects
of that revolution are truly realized. Hence it would always be a desirable situation
that most of the e-governance projects focus on facilitating transactions, or even
better, seeks citizen participation, which would cover all sorts of information goal by
default.
Notably, a Coeus Age Consulting study of about 1600 e-governance initiatives in India
reveals that about 59% of the initiatives are focused just on providing information,
whereas another 20% establish an interaction. Further, only about 20% of the digital
governance initiatives facilitate a transaction of government services, while a mere
1% of the initiatives seek stakeholder participation in governance (see Figure 2).
Gujarat, the Center (central government ministries and departments), Karnataka,
Maharashtra and Kerala are the top five states in terms of number of projects with
transaction and participation focus. The top 10 states and the Center account for 191
(60%) of the 330 projects at an all-India level, which are at a transaction or
participation stage on the focus continuum (See Table 1).
Table 1: Top 10 States in India by Number of Projects with Transaction and
Participation Focus
Total Number of eGovernance
Projects Identified
& Evaluated**

Projects with
Transaction and
Participation Focus

% Projects with
Transaction and
Participation Focus

Grand Total

1571

328

21%

Gujarat

103

30

29%

The Center*

76

27

35%

Karnataka

80

22

28%

Kerala

109

21

19%

Maharashtra

82

21

26%

Andhra Pradesh

79

16

20%

Tamil Nadu

70

16

23%

Chhattisgarh

67

16

24%

Madhya Pradesh

60

14

23%

Odisha

64

13

20%

1571

328

21%

Grand Total

*The Center represents initiatives by the central government ministries and departments
**Projects that are live and for which information is in the public domain

Source: Maximum Governance, Coeus Age Consulting, 2016


The BAIT-P continuum invented by Maximum Governance, Coeus Age Consulting is a
very powerful tool to gauge the focus of an e-governance project and helps address
the issue of providing deeper value to the stakeholders.