WIRED FOR WORK? ICT AND JOB SEEKING IN RURAL AREAS

Features: November 7th, 2003

By Ronald W. McQuaid, Colin Lindsay and Malcolm Greig. A pool of information is being painstakingly built up of the effect of providing technology to access public services. This research reveals the reality of the digital divide and emphasizes the need to ensure that those needing the service most do not miss out. It also raises the fundamental question of whether services should match the current behaviour of customers or seek to change behaviour.



THE VISION THING

Features: November 4th, 2003

By Warren Hatter Reproduced by permission of eGov Monitor Weekly. Localism is at the centre of local e-government developments. The author describes a variety of e-government visions that are evolving across the country. He sketches a scene of intense activity with some services being transformed for the better. He concludes that the general picture is a steady piecemeal change driven by local visionaries.

DEVELOPING PEOPLE – REGENERATING PLACE: ACHIEVING GREATER INTEGRATION

Features: October 31st, 2003

By Alan McGregor, Andrea Glass, Kevin Higgins, Lynne Macdougall and Victoria Sutherland Different approaches have been used over the years to tackle social exclusion. They include area based initiatives, such as health and education action zones, and central initiatives such as the welfare to work programme. The authors surveyed this patchwork quilt of local and central initiatives and found some of the causes for poor integration. They suggest ways in which better integration can be achieved.

Delivering Seamless Services

Features: October 28th, 2003

It is claimed that the award winning Cambridgeshire Community Network is the UK’s most ambitious and inclusive countywide broadband community network. It delivers high-speed Internet access and allows the introduction of electronic services for the local community. This article describes how it seeks to bridge the digital divide and provide a seamless service so that users don’t need to know who provides what service.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Scrutiny

Features: October 24th, 2003

By Jo Dungey The emergence of the scrutiny role was one of the major outcomes from a change in the political structures of local councils. Council members carrying out scrutiny have moved away from detailed management of services to look at service outcomes and other local issues from a more community-oriented point of view. Jo Dungey provides examples of issues being scrutinized and suggests principles that make for effective scrutiny.

Delivering the Foundations for Joined up E-Government

Features: October 21st, 2003

By Steve Boon Three years is a long time in the world of technology and in this period many public service organizations have installed systems which integrate voice, video and data. The technology which allows this to be done, Internet Protocol, was first developed over 30 years ago, but it is now making a significant difference to public services. Steve Boon explains that the technology was ready and waiting for the big opportunity which came with the advent of joined-up working, for which it is ideally suited.

PPPs – The Only Show in Town?

Features: October 17th, 2003

By Paul Maltby. Reproduced by permission of the Public Management and Policy Association. Public Private Partnerships are still attracting a significant amount of opposition and debate. Much of the opposition is ideological, but others oppose partnerships on value for money grounds. The author looks at the claims for the success of the most common form of PPP, the Public Finance Initiative, and suggests how PPP policy should develop.

Making Progress Towards e-Government

Features: October 10th, 2003

By John Thornton. Reproduced by permission of eGov Monitor Weekly Councils have to present annual reports on progress and plans on implementing e-Government to the ODPM next month. The author presents an overview of the scene from the perspective of the Director of e-Government at the Improvement and Development Agency. He suggests that thinking is changing and that e-Government no longer means getting all services online, but improved service quality and strengthened local democracy.

Increasing User Involvement in Voluntary Organisations

Features: October 7th, 2003

By Paul Robson, Nasa Begum and Michael Lock. Some degree of user involvement is essential if public and voluntary services are to respond to user needs. Voluntary organizations have the potential to achieve high levels of involvement including appointment to boards of trustees and filling operational posts. The authors looked at the process of user involvement in the voluntary sector and found it was a difficult path to follow. They offer a analysis of the reasons.

Making a Success of e-Government With Effective Programme Management

Features: October 3rd, 2003

By Coenraad van der Poe The target to make public services accessible on line by 2005 has created an unprecedented volume of systems development work. Meeting deadlines and building systems that satisfy users are measures of success. The author suggests ways to bring success and quotes from experience.

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