Benchmarking eGovernment: Improving the National and International Measurement, Evaluation and Comparison of eGovernment

Richard Heeks


This paper is aimed at those involved - in planning, in undertaking, in using or in evaluating - the benchmarking or measurement of e-government.  It draws on models of e-government and current practice of benchmarking e-government to answer four questions:

  • Why benchmark e-government?
  • What to benchmark?
  • How to benchmark?
  • How to report?

It provides a series of recommendations based on good practice or innovative practice, backed up by a set of conceptual frameworks and statistical findings.  Checklists are provided for those planning and for those evaluating e-government benchmarking studies.

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Educator's guide

Synopsis questions

  1. Identify the key purpose and audience for e-government benchmarking, including any geographical and chronological variations.  [part A]
  2. Outline the key decisions that need to be taken in relation to what to benchmark.  [part B]
  3. Outline the range of methods that can be used for benchmarking e-government, and issues and purposes associated with those methods.  [part C]
  4. Summarise key good practice in the reporting of e-government benchmark studies.  [part D]

Development questions

  1. Identify the likely personal/political/economic interests of those undertaking e-government benchmarking, which might determine their internal purposes.
  2. Does anyone take notice of e-government benchmarking reports - are they really worth doing?
  3. How would benchmarking e-government be different from benchmarking other information systems?
  4. Why do so many benchmarking studies focus on PC/web-delivered citizen-related e-services at national level?
  5. Identify a specific e-government application in a real public agency.  Trace out the e-government value chain for that application.  What indicators could and would you use to benchmark the application?
  6. Identify a specific e-government application in a real public agency.  Develop at least two operationalisable public value indicators for this application.
  7. Select five key recommendations for improving e-government benchmarking.  What barriers might there be to implementation of those recommendations?  Can you identify ways to try to overcome those barriers?
  8. Select an e-government benchmarking report, and subject it to the evaluation questions listed in Appendix B.  What do you conclude?