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Seoul and New York achieve top rankings in municipal E-Governance in Intrernational survey

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A global survey of city websites has identified Seoul, South Korea, as the top-ranked city in the performance of municipal e-governance. The research study was conducted jointly by the E-Governance Institute, School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark, and the Global e-Policy e-Government Institute at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), Korea.

The survey evaluated websites of municipalities worldwide in terms of privacy, usability, content, service, and citizen participation and ranked the cities on a global scale. Co-sponsored by the UN Division for Public Administration and Development Management and the American Society for Public Administration, the study listed the following cities among the top 10 in digital governance: Seoul, Hong Kong, Helsinki, Singapore, Madrid, London, Tokyo, Bangkok, New York and Vienna.

Based on the evaluation of 100 cities, the top 10 cities in the Rutgers-SKKU E-Governance Performance Index are as follows:
Top 10 Cities in Digital Governance Worldwide – 2007
Ranking    City    Score
1     Seoul    87.74
2     Hong Kong     71.24
3     Helsinki    71.01
4     Singapore    68.56
5     Madrid    67.98
6     London    65.79
7     Tokyo    59.89
8     Bangkok    59.01
9     New York    56.54
10     Vienna    53.99

Seoul continues its top ranking in municipal e-governance, similar to the 2003 and 2005 survey results, with its gap in overall ranking further widening between Hong Kong, the second ranked city. As a direct result of this innovative use of e-governance, Seoul continues to provide citizens with opportunities to participate in governmental processes, including well-organized and systematic opportunities to submit their ideas and suggestions on proposed policies via policy forums. This enables government administrators and elected officials to respond directly to citizen action when establishing public policies.
Although governments across the world increasingly offer their services online, studies evaluating the performance of such online services (broadly referred to as e-governance) primarily focus on federal, state, and local governments in the United States. Only a few studies have produced comparative analyses of e-governance in municipalities worldwide. The Rutgers-SKKU survey, first conducted in 2003 and repeated in 2005, represents a continued effort to evaluate e-governance in large municipalities globally. The study systematically utilizes the comprehensive Rutgers-SKKU E-Governance Performance Index by classifying 98 measures into five categories: privacy, usability, service, content, and citizen participation.  Evaluating each municipality’s website in its native language to examine how the local constituency perceives their government online, the survey highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each municipality in terms of the five subject areas and then ranks the municipalities on an overall basis and within each category.
The e-governance study highlights the increased attention spent on privacy and services as the percentage of cities with official websites increased significantly around the world. New York ranks first among cities in the Americas, and Cape Town ranks highest among African cities. Oceania was the top ranked continent while South American cities, on average, recorded the most significant increase, with Buenos Aires ranked the highest.

Similar to the 2005 findings, citizen participation received the lowest score among the five categories. A promising finding in terms of citizen participation, however, is the growing tendency among municipalities to publish performance measurement data on their websites. The number of websites providing data from citywide performance measurement systems has doubled globally as of 2007.

Top 5 Cities in the Five Categories- 2007
Security & Privacy     Usability    Content    Service    Citizen Participation
Rank    City    Score    City    Score    City    Score    City    Score    City    Score
1    Seoul    17.60    Madrid    18.75    Hong Kong    18.80    Seoul    19.83    Seoul    16.18
2    Helsinki    15.60    London    18.75    Madrid    16.40    Hong Kong    19.83    Singapore    12.91
3    London    15.60    Seoul    18.13    Seoul    16.00    Madrid    14.58    Bangkok    11.64
4    Tokyo    14.41    Helsinki    17.82    Bangkok    14.80    London    13.73    Helsinki    11.64
5    Singapore    14.00    Buenos Aires    17.19    Buenos Aires    14.80    Singapore    12.88    Amsterdam    9.09
According to Professor Marc Holzer, dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration and director of the E-Governance Institute at Rutgers-Newark, “The E-Governance Performance Index used for the survey is a set of benchmarks that spotlight high levels of performance throughout the world and fosters high expectations for improved web-based municipal service delivery in the near future, in all countries. Administering the survey jointly helped to reduce cultural bias in the survey methodology.”
Average Score by Score of Cities by Continent 2003-2007

Professor Seang-Tae Kim, president of the Global e-Policy e-Government Institute affirms, “The evaluation based on the Rutgers-SKKU E-Governance Performance Index is very meaningful because it is a continuing collaborative effort between western and eastern points of view on e-governance research. I believe it will guide the desirable future directions of e-governance strategies for municipalities worldwide.”
Scores and rankings of all 100 cities are available online at
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~egovinst and http://www.gepegi.org.
The continued study of municipalities worldwide, with a fourth evaluation planned in 2009, will further provide insight in the direction of e-governance and the performance of e-governance throughout regions of the world.
Rutgers’ E-Governance Institute also is conducting a United States States/Cities E-Governance Survey that evaluates the status of e-governance in all 50 states and the two largest cities in each state. The E-Governance Institute is a program of the School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers-Newark, which U.S. News & World Report recently ranked 9th in Information and Technology among graduate programs in public affairs in the United States.

 

Author: 
Marc Holzer