Democratizing Digital Bangladesh: Designing National Web Portal to Facilitate Government–Citizen Interaction
e-Government has become an inherent aspect of the modernization of public administration all over the world. Increased use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has created a new channel of the interaction and communication between government and citizens, which is supposed to increase transparency, responsiveness and the utilization of local potential in governance and policy processes. How this potential translates into practice depends on context. The key question is whether ICT itself is able to change the way government interacts with citizens through overall informatization of society, or would it be more proper to understand the new technologies only as a tool that can be manipulated by governments and even used to maintain the power of the elite of society in an increasingly complex environment. In this article we approach this issue by analyzing the communicational aspect of e-government in Bangladesh. We will analyze the e-government strategy and strategy-making process of the government, paying special attention to how it addresses the use of ICTs in facilitating interaction and communication between government and citizens. As a special instance of such a communication we focus on the national Web portal of Bangladesh. Our analysis will reveal how general theories and technological opportunities translate into realities in a developing country context.
Keywordse-Government Web portal Interaction Citizen Bureaucracy Elite Developing country Bangladesh
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