Why E-government Usage Lags Behind: Explaining the Gap Between Potential and Actual Usage of Electronic Public Services in the Netherlands

  • Alexander van Deursen
  • Jan van Dijk
  • Wolfgang Ebbers
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4084)


Most of the EU-15 countries illustrate a gap between potential usage and actual usage of electronic public services. Using a model of four successive kinds of access to digital technologies a number of explanations are sought. They are tested in the case of current Dutch electronic governmental service usage. Motivational access indicates that there is a part of the Dutch population that doesn’t have sufficient motivation for using computers and the Internet. It also appears that even in the Netherlands, a top country regarding Internet and broadband connections, physical access cannot be taken for granted. Insufficient digital skills produce serious problems as well. But the most striking facts are found in the context of usage access. Here we have observed a lack of user orientation in Dutch e-government services. It appears that the Dutch government doesn’t know what citizens want, how they use ICT en what the consequences for citizens are.


Actual Usage Digital Technology Dutch Population Usage Access Dutch Government 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander van Deursen
    • 1
  • Jan van Dijk
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Ebbers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of communication studiesUniversity of Twente, research program Governments and ICTEnschedeThe Netherlands

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