E-governance, or electronic governance, refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and digital tools to transform and improve the processes of governance and public administration. It encompasses the application of digital technologies to enhance the delivery of government services, increase transparency, promote citizen participation, and streamline administrative processes.

E-governance involves leveraging digital platforms, such as websites, portals, mobile applications, and online databases, to enable efficient communication, interaction, and collaboration between governments, citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders. It encompasses various aspects of governance, including policy formulation, service delivery, public information dissemination, decision-making processes, and citizen engagement.

The key elements of e-governance include:
  • Digital service delivery: E-governance aims to provide citizens and businesses with convenient and accessible digital channels to access government services and information. This can include online portals for obtaining licenses, paying taxes, applying for permits, accessing public records, or receiving notifications.
  • Transparency and accountability: E-governance promotes transparency by making government information and processes accessible to the public through digital platforms. It allows citizens to access public data, monitor government activities, track the progress of projects, and hold government officials accountable for their actions.
  • Citizen participation: E-governance encourages citizen engagement and participation in the decision-making processes of governance. It provides mechanisms for citizens to provide feedback, participate in online consultations, contribute to policy discussions, and collaborate with government agencies in problem-solving and service improvement.
  • Efficiency and effectiveness: By digitizing administrative processes, e-governance aims to streamline government operations, reduce bureaucracy, and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery. It enables automation, data integration, and online transactions, which can lead to cost savings, improved resource allocation, and faster response times.
  • Digital infrastructure and cybersecurity: E-governance requires robust digital infrastructure, including secure networks, data centers, and information systems, to ensure the reliability, privacy, and security of digital services and transactions. It involves implementing cybersecurity measures to protect government systems and citizens' data from unauthorized access, cyber threats, and information breaches.

Urban Governance Return to the Urban Governance programme
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E-governance goes beyond just the use of ICTs and includes the effective utilization of digital platforms, data-driven decision-making, citizen participation, and transparent processes to enhance government efficiency, service delivery, and democratic governance

Electronic governance is crucial for urban governance as it enables efficient and transparent administration, seamless delivery of public services, and effective engagement with citizens through digital platforms, ultimately enhancing the overall functioning and responsiveness of cities.