Factors influencing the use of electronic government services in Brazil/Fatores que influenciam o uso de servicos de governo eletronico no Brasil/Factores que influencian el uso de servicios de gobierno electronico en Brasil.

Autorde Araujo, Marcelo Henrique

    The development of the Information Society includes the risk of creating a new form of social exclusion: that of individuals deprived of digital resources. Although digital inclusion has been widely studied (WILHELM, 2000; CASTELLS, 2001; 2010; SORJ; GUEDES, 2005; MORI; ASSUMPCAO, 2007; MADON et al, 2009) it cannot be reduced to providing physical access to the technological resources, but must consider user diversity and ability for the different uses (entertainment, communication, education, e-commerce, e-government, etc.).

    The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br, in Portuguese) and other international institutions (UNO, OECD, World Bank and others) have developed indicators and metrics of the appropriation of ICTs, in order to understand the multiple dimensions of digital inclusion.

    Since 2005 CGI has sponsored a yearly large nationwide survey of the access and use of ICT in households and enterprises. CGI.br designed its survey in accordance with OECD, Eurostat and Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development methodology, thus allowing international comparisons (CGI, 2012). The survey statistics and methodology are available in Portuguese and English in http://www.cgi.br/publicacoes/index.htm.

    The access to the survey's microdata allows the in-depth analysis of different aspects of internet users ' behavior. For the present paper, the research question chosen is: How is the individuals' adoption and use of e-government services related to their preferred location of access to the internet and their usage capabilities?

    Answers to these questions should help in evaluating the effectiveness of (usually very high cost of nation-wide) public policies related to promoting the provision of internet access in public locations or at home and the need for user information and training. In fact, many of the once ubiquitous lan-houses (estimated at 108,000 in 2009) are going out of business despite government support, while the demand falls for the about 20,000 public telecenters (ABCID, 2013; CGI, 2012).

    The results of this research should contributeing to an improved understanding of the factors that influence the usage of e-gov services, in order to orient the definition of public policies for digital inclusion (in this case, the usage of e-gov services).

    The paper is organized as follows: section 2 presents a brief literature review and the research reference model. Section 3 describes the research design and the methodology employed. Data Analysis and discussions, contributions are contained in section 4; final considerations are presented in section 5.


    2.1. Digital Inclusion

    Digital Exclusion is a major theme of Information Society research, dealing with the social, economic and cultural consequences of the unequal distribution of access to computers and the internet, thus Digital Exclusion is one facets of social exclusion (BROADBENT; PAPADOPOULOS, 2013). There is the recognition that public policies are needed to overcome these problems through the dissemination of digital technology, such as the Brazilian Information Society Program (TAKAHASHI, 2000), also aiming at improving citizens' access to government services and democratic participation.

    Restricting the problem to the dichotomy between "having" or "not having" access to computers and the internet is an oversimplification. In fact, research focusing only on citizens' access to technological artifacts, according to (AVGEROU, 2003) has a "technological determinism bias".

    This indicates that digital exclusion is a complex issue, requiring considering other dimensions beyond the dichotomy of included and excluded individuals (SORJ; GUEDES, 2005).

    In this line, the present paper will not focus on the access to digital resources, but on its qualified use, focusing on the factors contributing to the use of e-government services. Although E-government may have different definitions, our research considers the use of internet to improve the provision of government services to citizens, information and democratic participation.

    2.2 Electronic Government Services

    Governments have made extensive use of these technological resources in order to increase its offer of services to citizens and also improving their effectiveness and quality. These systems, based on the use of Information and Communication Technologies, and, in particular, the subsystems that provide the interface with citizens, are studied under the generic name of electronic government, or, in short, e-gov (DINIZ et al., 2009; SANTOS; REINHARD, 2011).

    Electronic Government as a research area, besides studying the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the interaction between citizens and private organizations with public administration (the socalled "front office ", does also include the "back office ": automation and integration of the different public administration processes and interorganizational systems communication. Haldenwang (2004:418) understand e-gov as the strategic and co-ordinated use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the public administration and political decision making.

    Although the most visible dimension of electronic government relates to the provision of government services in electronic form, there are also other applications that studied under the name of e-gov.

    The popularization and positive image of these electronic services, such as the citizen's electronic filing of Income Tax Adjustments (REINHARD; MOYA, 2002) and electronic voting system (AVGEROU et al., 2009) have led to equate electronic government with electronic citizen-facing service provision in current language. However Diniz et al. (2009) point out that the field has to be expanded to include also other application of the technology in Government activities.

    One classification, used for several authors such as by Cunha and Miranda (2008) and also Barbosa, Pozzebon and Diniz (2013) and Haldenwang (2007), identifies three major categories of e-gov applications:

    * Public Management applications: the use of ICT to improve the management of government activities, administrative processes and resource usage and also the formulation, implementation, monitoring and control of public policies.

    * E-services: the use of ICT for the communication with and the provision of services in electronic form to citizens and private organizations.

    * E-democracy: the use of ICT resources in order to allow citizens to become better informed about government and facilitate their increasing participation in forming public opinion and in...

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