Researching Digital Government of the 21st Century

A group of researchers from some of the top schools with programs related to digital government got together last month to discuss the role of research in the digital government arena, it’s importance for the future, and how to get it better funded. The get-together was entitled “Information, Technology, and Governance: A Grand Challenges Research Agenda Workshop“. This new round of discussions is being sponsored by NASCIO and the National Science Foundation. I have been interested in this niche research community as long as it has existed, having done graduate work at University of Washington, GSPA, the second oldest graduate school of public administration in the country. I’ve put together a Twitter list referencing academia in the field.

In the eGov space, clearly the most prominent academics include,
I admire each for the contributions that they have made to the field and appreciate the interaction I have had.
Europe has established eGovernet, the European E-Government Research Network. For me, this is an activity that easily transcends national borders which is why I’m always seeking to learn anything I can from leaders in places like Singapore, Korea, Estonia, Peru, Veracruz, and Barcelona. One of the best minds in the area is John Gotze of Denmark, who understands as well as anyone the intersection of Government 2.0 and enterprise architecture.
Hopefully, we can improve the way that government practicantes work together with academia to produce better online government. In Utah, we have done a little collaborating with the Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA) to develop a more shared understanding of our strategic direction.
Other Notable Programs
What are your thoughts?
How can we better leverage the eGov research community to move eGovernment forward?
What are the areas best primed for research in 2010?

Who else is a leader in this area?
–Just noticed that Vivek Kundra spoke last week at the Evans School (Univ. of Washington – alma mater) on the topic of Government 2.0.
I will be updating this post with new ideas on the topic.

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Avatar photo Bill Brantley

Thanks for the great resources! Three areas that we should be looking at that complements egovernment:

1) Design with a specific emphasis on human-computer interaction.
2) Neuroscience
3) Behavioral economics


Georgetown also has a research program called Communications, Culture, and Technology led by Michael Nelson who worked on e-gov under Gore. They do some interesting work and a number of alumni (I’m not one so no bias 🙂 are doing some pretty amazing Gov 2.0 work.

I would love to see more research on what citizens actually want. With eGov and the newest iteration Gov 2.0, I’m not sure we are reaching out enough to the average citizen to figure out their motivations and what tools/technologies/policies they want.


Bill – I’m big on behavioral economics – which ties well into social psychology and game dynamics. Books like Nudge, etc…

Avatar photo Bill Brantley

You might want to check this out – Nonprofits and Public Administration: Reconciling Performance Management and Citizen Engagement by Steven Rathgeb Smith. American Review of Public Administration 2010 40, 129.

Not specifically about eGov but has some good points about citizen engagement that applies to eGov.