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E-grievance System in local government: case study, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Hassan, Abdishakur Awil (2010) E-grievance System in local government: case study, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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Abstract:Recently many governments embraced electronic means to engage with citizens in service provision and interacting with their citizens. Convenient service delivery, improved communication, cost reduction, efficient and effective ways of service provision are among promised notions of electronic government systems. In consequence, the study of e-government has gained rather considerable attention. E-government is defined as “the use of ICTs, and particularly the Internet, as a tool to achieve better government’’. Unfortunately, many of the e-government studies focused on the supply side and how e-governments systems affect public organisations. This study has tried to breach that gap by focusing on the demand side of the e-government. E-grievance systems were the main theme of the research by being one of the main reasons citizens contact their governments. Local governments are considered as natural customers of public citizens. Many of Citizen’s Everyday needs relating to water/sewerage, electricity, roads, parking are linked to local governments. Local governments are also the point at which citizens seek: obtaining certificates, building permit, registering and subdividing plots of land are all important transactions that local government around the world often have the sole responsibility. Therefore, it is considered essential that processes of complaint redresal are clearly defined and publicly available. But little has been discussed about the development of an integrated system to handle citizen’s electronic complaints The research methods used was case study which was conducted at Amsterdam Municipality, the Netherlands. The case study was based on collecting both qualitative and quantitative data. Different methods of data collection were used during fieldwork including interviews, questionnaires and documentary analysis. In addition, multiple databases were acquired to perform the quantitative and statistical analysis. The grievance database consisted of all grievances submitted to the municipality in the year 2008-2009 with in all districts of Amsterdam. In the empirical results, both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to compliment each other basing on the complimentary approach of mixed methodology. The results show that the e-grievance system in Amsterdam has evolved overtime and has grown up in a piecemeal wise. The planning of the system was not done at one shot. The piecemeal wise growing of the e-grievance system poses a concern which created to unify the e-grievance system. The system tends to gear up towards a fully fledged e-grievance system which allows citizen to Geo-tag locations in Google Map and uploading photos of the incidents by using ICT and GeoICT. We find out that the e-grievance system is more focused on efficiency rather than participation. The analysis suggests that the location of the grievances and the socio-economic status of the residence can offer a better understanding of the actual impacts or outcome of the e-grievance system. Our results show that the e-grievance system is mostly used by middle to high income, White and middle aged category of the society in Amsterdam. The interpretation of our statistical correlations and GIS visualisation methods indicate digital divide and number of divides can be observed from the results. Therefore the study proposes that the e-grievance systems should not only be focused on accessibility and processing of citizen grievances but the outcome and impacts of the system as well. Key Words: E-government, E-grievance systems, complaint handling mechanisms, ICT, GeoICT, E-participation, citizen-initiated contacts
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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