Citizen-centricity for e-Governance initiatives in Rural Areas

Democratic governance mechanisms are becoming more receptive to the potentials of information communication technologies (ICT) to achieve good governance in its implementation. This application of ICTs for governance is covered under the umbrella term of ‘e-governance’. E-Governance is expected to maximise citizen satisfaction by not just improving responsiveness of public service delivery mechanisms but also by augmenting citizens’ participation in governance mechanisms. Certainly for any e-governance initiative to be totally acceptable, citizens’ needs and aspirations need to be its starting point and the core nuclei. However, the reality seems to its contrary, more specifically in the rural areas of developing countries such as India. The main preposition of this theme paper is that before designing any e-governance initiatives for the rural areas, diverse needs of the citizens may be given proper consideration from the perspective of the people’s potentialities, needs and aspirations defined by their respective rural reality. This would result in design of customised e-governance initiatives that would be more responsive to the contextual reality of its respective rural areas and hence better utilised by the locales and therefore prove to be more sustainable.

Charru Malhotra
V.M. Chariar
L.K. Das
© Indian Institute of Public Administration, 2011