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E-government for development: a thematic analysis of Zimbabwe’s information and communication technology policy documents

journal contribution
posted on 28.10.2019 by Ephias Ruhode

Traditionally, governments have been viewed as complex, large bureaucratic establishments with a set of information silos that erect barriers to the access of information and make the provision of services cumbersome and frustrating. However with the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), there is evidence of improvement in efficiency and effectiveness of internal administration within governments and the relocation of government services from government offices to locations closer to the citizens. This paper is motivated by the need to investigate an e-government phenomenon in a developing country context which is characterised by complex dynamics rooted in politics, economy and social setting. The paper has been scoped to explore the evolution of e- government in Zimbabwe as articulated in ICT policy documents. The policy documents are analysed through the lens of thematic analysis which leads to critical narrative analysis. The use of thematic analysis as a theoretical foundation and a methodological approach for analysing text contributes to a better understanding of government publications. This study has identified that all documents are silent on the political and economic reality in Zimbabwe which directly influences the implementation of capital projects. The policy documents also make no reference to other considerations as funding models and execution plans under a complex political, social and economic environment. As a result, government policy documents remained only as blueprints without any impact towards the implementation of e- government in Zimbabwe.

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