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The awareness of the e-government system among Saudi citizens

A study submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Information System Management

at THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

By

MOHAMMED AL-SAIF
Registration Number: 090132762

September, 2010

Abstract
E-government is considered to be a necessity for professional government systems, rather than an option. This research discusses the literature related to this subject in an attempt to understand the concept and the differing classifications, with particular reference to the importance of its adoption by citizens, and to identify opportunities and challenges for its implementation. This study aims to assess the awareness of e-government systems among Saudi citizens and their willingness to adapt to this new programme. A quantitative methodology and deductive method were used by predicting some working hypotheses, which were drawn from the literature, and then justified by a webbased questionnaire that was designed to evaluate perception of e-government systems among Saudi citizens. The results show that males are most likely to employ the e-government system in Saudi Arabia, and the youth, which forms the majority of the citizens, will support the adoption of the new system. Moreover, high income is considered to be a significant factor that will affect the adoption of the new phenomena. Furthermore, the study reveals that accessibility, saving time and cost considered to be the most significant benefits affecting the implementation. However, the lack of media awareness, digital divide and lack of users skills shown to be the most challenging factors that is likely to affect the implementation. The results conclude that although awareness of e-government among Saudi citizens is modest at best for the current stage, the intention to use the e-government service in the future, during the transaction and publishing stages is extremely optimistic. The study recommends additional effort is needed to increase awareness among users and an additional focus on enhancing the people's knowledge and skills. Also, the government needs to consider the digital divide constraints and the infrastructure obstacle. There is potential for further research in this new subject, and this study suggests more in depth research needs to be undertaken to focus on the issue of user awareness by adopting a specific case study and qualitative methodology to examine the phenomena more intensely.

Acknowledgment
I would like to acknowledge the following people and thank them for their contribution during my dissertation for the Masters stage.

First of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation to my dissertation supervisor Dr. Angela Lin for her continuous support, guidance and advice. I sincerely thank her for the time and the follow-up during the research period. It was my privilege to learn from her wealth of knowledge.

Secondly, I dedicate this dissertation to my family, my father and my wife who encouraged and supported me to complete this study. Special thanks goes to my wife for providing the appropriate atmosphere to conduct the research.

I would like to thank the Saudi government represented by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau in London for their financial support and the scholarship.

Finally, I offer my gratitude to all who contributed and participated in my survey. My special thanks go to people who helped me to distribute the questionnaire.

Table of Contents
Abstract .............................................................................................................................. 2 Acknowledgment ............................................................................................................... 3 (Chapter -1) Introduction ................................................................................................. 7 The context of the project ............................................................................................... 7 Research aims and objectives.......................................................................................... 9 Outline of report ............................................................................................................ 11 (Chapter -2)Literature Review ...................................................................................... 12 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 12 Definition of E-government .......................................................................................... 12 Characteristics of e-government ................................................................................... 15 E-government Sectors ............................................................................................... 15 E-government Stages ................................................................................................ 17 Expediency of e-government System............................................................................ 20 Challenge and barriers facing e-government system .................................................... 22 E-government among citizens ....................................................................................... 27 E-government in Saudi Arabia ...................................................................................... 30 Background about the kingdom ................................................................................ 30 ICT (Information Communication Technology) system in Saudi Arabia ................ 32 Overview of initiatives e-government project........................................................... 35 Yasser program ......................................................................................................... 35 Accomplished National Application projects ........................................................... 38 (Chapter -3)Methodology ............................................................................................... 40 Research Method ........................................................................................................... 40 Survey ....................................................................................................................... 41 Sample ....................................................................................................................... 42 Reliability and validity .............................................................................................. 43

Practicalities .................................................................................................................. 43 Ethical aspects ............................................................................................................... 44 Limitation ...................................................................................................................... 44 (Chapter -4)Data Presenting .......................................................................................... 45 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 45 Demographic Data ........................................................................................................ 45 Perception of Saudi citizens of the e-government......................................................... 48 Expediency of e-government in Saudi Arabia .............................................................. 52 Challenge facing e-government .................................................................................... 54 (Chapter -5)Analyzing and Discussion............................................................................ 58 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 58 Demographic variables and e-government adaptation .................................................. 58 Participating in publishing and interacting phases ........................................................ 62 Participating on transacting and transformation phasees .............................................. 62 Opportunity of e-government system ........................................................................... 64 Challenges facing e-government ................................................................................... 66 (Chapter -6) Conclusions ................................................................................................. 70 References ........................................................................................................................ 73 Appendices ....................................................................................................................... 81

List of figures and tables Table 2.1 E-government Definitions from Different Prospectives..14 Table 2.2 Summaries of the stages of e-government models in literature...19 Table 4.1 opportunity of e-government ........................................................................... 53 Table 4.2 percentage of e-government benefits ............................................................... 54 Table 4.3 challenges facing e-government....................................................................... 55 Table 4.4 percentage of e-government challenges ........................................................... 57

Figure 2.1 E-government Domain adapted from Ndou, (2004) ....................................... 16 figure 2.2 stage of e-government Gartner 1 ..................................................................... 18 Figure 2.3 map of Saudi Arabia : Source: (https://www.cia.gov/library/pub -1 ............ 30 0 Figure 2.3 internet users Adapted from CITC Annual Report 2009 1 ............................. 33 Figure 2.4: Source:internet market evaluation (CITC, 2009) 1 ....................................... 34 Figure 2.5: Yesser.objective............................................................................................. 35 Figure 2.6 : IT projects in saudi arabia ............................................................................ 36 Figure 2.8 Gartner researches 1 ....................................................................................... 37 Figure 2.9 saudi government in information society ....................................................... 39 Figure 4.1 gender percentages 45 Figure 4.2 age percentage ................................................................................................ 46 Figure 4.3 education level ................................................................................................ 47 Figure 4.4 monthly incomes............................................................................................. 47 Figure 4.5 e-government concepts .................................................................. 48

Figure 4.6 e-government concepts among females .......................................................... 48 Figure 4.7 e-government access portals ........................................................................... 49 Figure 4.8 publishing phase ............................................................................................. 49 Figure 4.9 Interacting phase ............................................................................................. 50 Figure 4.10 transaction stage ........................................................................................... 50 Figure 4.11 transformation phase ..................................................................................... 51 Figure 4.12 unemployment problem ................................................................................ 52 Figure 4.13 obstacles of e-government ............................................................................ 56

Chapter one
Introduction
The context of the project
The influence of technology on the economies of the world and its impact to achieve an information society cannot be ignored, and most countries have attempted to respond to these new technological advances by introducing e-government systems, but the levels of transformation towards these new phenomena is varied considerably. There have been countless definitions of e-government and one describes the innovation as the use of information technology to free movement of data to overcome the physical bounds of traditional paper and physical based systems" (Digital Governance, 2003). It is generally considered as a means to improve efficiency and productivity for government services, and to reduce costs for citizens and public agencies. The intention of egovernment systems is also to provide a better flow of information and to improve data accuracy. These systems are also intended to remove any perceived intimidation or routines often found in government organisations and to present a more convenient approach for citizens (Gupta and Jana, 2003), (Moon, 2002). It has been demonstrated that e-government programs cannot be implemented as a universal model, because factors of cultural, demographic, political and economic influences need to be considered, and particularly for Saudi Arabia, religious and cultural factors are crucial factors in the success of how e-government is accepted and used by people (Al-Sabti, 2005). Saudi Arabia is at a critical stage in its transformation into a technologically driven society, and the country recognises that e-government is a valuable vehicle for demonstrating its potential in the public sector. Indeed, there are significant factors that will support the effective implementation of egovernment programs in Saudi Arabia in particular, a dependable communication system is needed for the large areas of the country that have significant towns and cities, its strong economy has established a strong infrastructure, there are minimal taxes and most of the population of the country is within a young age band who would have a more flexible approach to train for new ideas and to accept change readily, compared to older groups of people.

Also, Saudi Arabia has two holy mosques and is the heart of Islamic countries, which receives approximately two million visitors every year that are pilgrims; this requires close coordination and communication between the government agencies for better service that can be achieved by e-government, and finally it offers the chance for women to access government services online (Al-Shehry et al., 2008). However, there are some barriers and challenges facing the implementation of the egovernment program in Saudi Arabia, such as weaknesses in technology capabilities, insufficient infrastructure coverage, security concerns and training opportunities that could lead to its ultimate failure. This is supported by Gartner (2005) who found that more than 60% of e-government programs in the world have failed. E-government can be developed across three prospectives that are described as: Government to government (G2G), Government to business (G2B), and Government to citizen (G2C) (Bonham, 2001).

In this project I intend to study the third prospective (G2C), and highlight one of the key factors that may affect the adoption of the system, which is awareness of the egovernment program among Saudi citizens of its information and knowledge potential, their acceptance of change, people and government expectations and the analysis of data regarding responses to this new technology. Most research that has been undertaken into the implementation of e-government programs has focused on technical elements of its introduction, and have neglected social, cultural and humanitarian issues, and it is these issues on which I wish to concentrate for this research. One of the objectives of this research is to spot the gap between theoretical and practical elements of e-government adoption by Saudi citizens.

Research aims and objectives


The purpose of this research is to examine awareness among Saudi citizens of the implementation of e-government systems and their willingness to adapt to this new program. This new initiative needs to adapt to different circumstances than in other countries, because of specific factors that may negatively or positively affect its widespread adoption, such as religion, traditional culture, the economy and geographical aspects. The main aim of this research is to identify the gap between the perception of Saudi citizens and the utilization of e-government systems, by categorising these factors, addressing the problems facing its effective implementation, and finally making some recommendations.

Firstly, to discover who are utilising e-government services among Saudi citizens?

Then, the project will consider the perception of Saudi citizens regarding the adoption of the e-government system.

After that, to examine how or to what extent they are utilizing the service.

Next, the project will highlight the stimulating, positive factors and opportunities of adopting e-government systems in Saudi Arabia.

Finally, to present the potential obstacles that may face those who would benefit from this system and the intimidating, negative factors that will have an impact on the acceptance of the e-government system in Saudi Arabia.

Hypotheses The research therefore suggests the following working hypotheses "a hypothesis is an informed guess or hunch that a relationship may exist between two variables with one being the cause of the other" (Hart, 2008). These hypotheses are mainly identified from the literature review in the next chapter:

The demographic variables (gender, age, level of education and income) will differentiate between citizens regarding adoption of e-government systems, and the level of income is considered as a greater influencing factor.

Females will play a vital role in adopting online services in Saudi Arabia.

The youth majority of the citizens will support the transformation to the new innovation.

Utilizing the current e-government services (publishing and interacting phase) depends on the citizen's level of education.

The intention of the citizens to utilize the service in the future (transacting and transformation phases) is initiatively optimistic.

Accessibility is one of the major benefits of implementing e-government program in Saudi Arabia.

The human resource consider as a significant challenge facing the implementation of e-government system in Saudi Arabia.

The digital divide is one of the major obstacles facing e-government in Saudi Arabia.

The security and privacy issues are considered as the most critical challenge
facing the e-government adoption among Saudi citizens.

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Outline of report
This report has been classified into six main chapters. Chapter one provides an introduction to the subject, which includes a general context and the major aims and objectives of the research, followed by the working hypotheses for the project. In this section, the e-government phenomena will be identified, the problems that will need to be addressed will be stated and the importance of this topic will be examined. Chapter two presents the literature review, which contains the background of the study and the related research in this area for greater understanding. Chapter three presents the methodology adopted for this study, which describes the research method and determines the collection and analysis methods. In this chapter, the strength and the weakness of the methodology will also be demonstrated. Chapter four will present the results of the research that will be supported by diagrams and charts. Next, chapter five will discuss the results of the survey and evaluate the working hypothesis using the SPSS program. Finally, chapter six presents the conclusions, which sum up the whole topic, revisits the main points, reviews the major objectives of the research already detailed in this introduction and states to what extent these have been met, identify the importance and likely impact of this research, and finally highlight some recommendations and suggest possible future areas for research in this subject.

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Chapter two
Literature Review
Introduction
This chapter will explore previous research in e-government issues, and will include some criticism of the concept and reveal argument between the researchers. This literature background will begin by defining the e-government context and identify the framework from different prospectives. Then, the report will focus on various classifications and consider different stages of e-government from diverse approaches. Next, the project will reflect on the factors that encourage the adoption of e-government systems, and thereafter the challenges and the barriers facing the implementation of egovernment system will be highlighted. Finally, the project will concentrate on the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a case study by drawing attention to the substantial efforts and strategic plans conducted in this field. Definition of E-government Despite the short life of this new innovation, it has caused many arguments in the research field, even with its definition. There are many e-government definitions that are described in published literature, such as the United Nations Division for Public Economic and Public Administration (UNDPEPA) that defines e-government as "Utilizing the Internet and the World Wide Web for delivering government information and services to citizens". Other findings describe e-government with regard to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), such as Moon (2002) who defines it as the use of all information and communication technologies, from fax machines to wireless palm pilots, to facilitate the daily administration of government. Egovernment definition could be encompassed into three major transformations: internal which refers to the horizontal transformation between the government agencies, external which is related to the vertical transformation among the citizens and the government organizations and relational which is an integration of both horizontal and vertical approaches (Hirst and Norton, 1998).

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According to Abramson and Means (2001), e-Government can be defined as "the electronic interaction (transaction and information exchange) between the government, the public (citizens and businesses) and employees". Furthermore, the World Bank (2001) defined the system by counting the opportunities of the program from the citizens' aspect as "E-government is the government owned or operated systems of information and communication technologies that transform relations with citizens, the private sector and/or other government agencies as to promote citizens empowerment, improve service delivery, strengthen accountability, increase transparency, or improve government efficiency". On the other hand, Fraga, (2001) defined the context as relational transformation by including internal and external services as "E-government is the transformation of public sector internal and external relationships through net-enabled operations, IT and communications, in order to improve: Government service delivery; Constituency participation; Society". Moreover, Tapscott, (1996) concentrates in his research on the horizontal or internal transformation and stated that "E-government is an Internet-worked government which links new technology with legal systems internally and in turn links such government information infrastructure externally with everything digital and with everybody the tax payer, suppliers, business customers, voters and every other institution in the society". Another definition is by UNPA & ASPA, (2001) as "E-governance is the public sectors use of the most innovative information and communication technologies, like the Internet, to deliver to all citizens improved services, reliable information and greater knowledge in order to facilitate access to the governing process and encourage deeper citizen participation".

Therefore, this new concept reveals countless definitions, depending on the researcher's prospective. The following table demonstrates e-government definitions that form different prospectives.

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Prospective
Political reasons for using technology Public sector reforms Management of change

E-government Definition
The use of ICT, and particularly the Internet, as tools to achieve better government.

Authors
OECD (2004)

To improve efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of government through ICT use. To improve public services, democratic processes and strengthen support for public policies by using ICT in public administration to enable organisational change and new skills.

World Bank Group (2004) European Information Society (2004:20)

Dimensions of egovernment Technology

Dimension areas of e-democracy, e-service provision, emanagement and e-governance. Delivering government information and services to citizens via the Internet.

Berri (2004)

United Nations (2003) Layne and Lee (2001)

Relationships with partners

The delivery of information and services to citizens, employees, business partners, other agencies and other government entities by using technology, such as the Internet.

Political

An opportunity for governments to re-organise themselves, get closer to the citizen and cooperate with a variety of societies. Adapted from Al-Shehry et al. (2006)

Dunleavy (2002) (Caldow, 1999)

Table (2.1): E-government Definitions From Different Prospectives.

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Characteristics of e-government
In the literature, the e-government paradigm has been classified into two main categories, e-government sectors and e-government stages and every category contains sub-classifications.

E-government Sectors The first category is with regard to the parties who are interacting throughout the egovernment system who are the citizens, business, government and the employees. In this regard, the researchers differ in their classification. For example, (DeBenedictis, Howell, Figueroa, & Boggs, 2002) and (Bonham, 2001) have classified the concept into three main sectors. 1. Government to Citizens (G2C) 2. Government to Business (G2B) 3. Government to Government (G2G) While as others, such as (Ndou, 2004) add another sector to the three above, which is Government to Employees (G2E). G2E was also included under G2G sector by other researchers. However, Fong, (2002) divided the G2G sectors into profit and non-profit for government sectors. Government to Citizens (G2C) This sector includes all the transactions, which are performed between the government agencies and the citizens. Government to Citizens (G2C) may be considered as a challenge in this sector at the current time, but an improvement is expected in this field during the next ten years with young people who have the skills and experience of the technology (Seifert, 2008). This sector involves any process that could be conducted between the government agencies and the citizens; for example, the payment of fines, renewing licenses and applying for passports through online systems. Government to Business (G2B) (G2B) deals with the interaction between the private sector and the government agencies in business issues, such as the e-procurement of the products and its requirements, such as VAT and other taxes. This sector is an extension of the e-business sector by engaging

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the government organization in the online process in order to streamline business processes for faster and cheap service (Seifert, 2008; Ndou, 2004). Government to Government (G2G) This sector represents the backbone of the e-government paradigm, which integrates the service of government agencies into central databases. (G2G) is considered as the ultimate aim of most e-government projects, due to the fact that reaching this level of integration allow government organizations to collaborate to achieve their potential objectives. Although, reaching this stage needs significant effort and re-engineering strategies to adapt different departments into a coherent unit, the benefits of this system are worth overcoming the challenges in order to achieve high quality, efficiency and consistency in daily government transactions without paperwork (Seifert, 2008; Ndou, 2004). Government to Employees (G2E) Often this sector is encapsulated under the G2G sector, but it refers particularly to the relationship between the government and their employees. G2E is involved in ensuring employees' e-training and online learning progress smoothly. The employees have the chance to facilitate any roles, standards or criteria advised by the government department. Moreover, it will allow for partial participation department decisions as a suggestions and feedback on the organization's strategy (Ndou, 2004).

According to Ndou, (2004), there are three main domains that overlap, and egovernment is the overlapping point between them. These domains are e-administration, which is related to the online administration tasks, e-Citizens and e-Services, which is associated with the service provided by the government to the citizens, and e-Society covers all other interaction among public agencies, private sector and civil community. However other researchers includes e-management, e-services, e-commerce, edemocracy and decision making as segments of e-government (Al-Azri, et al, 2010)

Figure 2.1 E-government Domain adapted from Ndou, (2004)

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E-government Stages The second main category is related to the life cycle of the system starting from initiation to the advanced integration stage. On the other hand, various approaches have been studied on the implementation of e-government system stages, as there are many interpretations of development stages by researchers that differ widely in numbers and names (Howard, 2001; Lau, 2001). Nevertheless, the most widely held category is by Gartner Group, (2004) who categorises the model into four phases: Publishing phase This stage is also known as web presence, and forms the initial stage that presents general information and contact details on the website, and government departments can include contact telephone numbers, address locations and office opening times. These enable citizens to access the information available and find what they need through website pages. Interacting phase, This stage enables government websites to provide two-way communication through emails or feedback forms. Furthermore, users may also download forms that are needed, complete them and then send these back to the organisation. Transacting phase, This is a more advanced stage that allows users to undertake and complete tasks online, including a complete transaction process, such as paying fines, or applying for licenses or passports. Transforming phase, This stage demonstrates the greatest sophistication possible, where all processes for government departments are integrated into one central database, and information of citizens is shared by the central database throughout all government agencies.

The following figure (2.2) illustrates the e-government stages by Gartner Group.

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figure 2.2 stage of e-government Gartner 1

While, the prospective among other researchers differs with regard to the life cycle model of e-government systems, in some cases a paraphrase of the proposed concept as is shown in the following table. Model and Author Deloitte Research Eminence of web-based (2000; cited in applications and portal technology Silcock, 2001 (1) Information publishing (2) Official, two way transactions (3) Multi-purpose portals (4) Portal personalisation (5) Clustering of common services, (6) Full integration and enterprise transformation (1) Publish (2) Interact and (3) Transact (1) Cataloguing (2) Transactions (3) Vertical integration (4) Horizontal integration Prospective Stages

Howard (2001) Capabilities of the web technology Lyne and Lee The degree of organisational and (2001) technological complexity and the degree of integration in terms of data and service delivery

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Moon (2002) Technological characteristics (1) Simple information dissemination (oneway communication) (2) Request and response (Two-way communication) (3) Service and financial transaction (4) Integration (horizontal and vertical integration) (5) Political participation (1) Initial stage Al-Dosary and King (2004) Reddick (2004) The degree of organisational and technological complexity (3) Advanced stage

(2) Developing stage (4) Optimal stage

Technological characteristics (1) Cataloguing of information online (2) Transactions

UN (2004)

Technological characteristics (1) Emerging (2) Enhanced (3) Interactive (4) Transactional and (5) Seamless or fully integrated.

Hiller and Blanger (2001)

Technological characteristics

1. Information 2. Two-way communication 3. Transaction 4. Integration 5. Participation

Adapted from Al-Shehry et al. (2006) Table (2.2): Summaries of the stages of e-government models in literature

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Expediency of e-government System


There is little doubt regarding the benefits of the transformation towards e-government systems and its impact on political, social, economic, technological and management aspects (Al-Shehry et al., 2006). Many researchers in this field agree there is a common expediency to improve efficiency, transparency, accessibility, quality, as well as allowing greater participation by citizens and reducing costs (Bonham, et al., 2001; Moon, 2002; OECD, 2004 and The World Bank, 2003). However, indirect benefits may also be achieved, such as increasing efficiency is likely to lead to the reduction of mistakes, feedback and responses from government departments to citizens would be faster and the services would be more consistent. Greater efficiency normally leads to reduced costs by changes to processes and procedures that become more streamlined as a consequence (Bonham et al., 2001). The cost reduction applies to government departments and citizens, as they will no longer have to bear the cost of travelling to government offices, and government departments can operate in a paperless environment and reduce the numbers of government employees. Nevertheless, the consequence of reduced need for staff in government offices will lead to increased unemployment risks. According to the United Nations (2001), the adoption of online services could achieve cost savings of government services of up to 70%, as well as social benefits by allowing access to government services on a 24/7 basis from any location. Moreover, egovernment services will increase citizens' participation and their involvement in politics, by enabling them to vote online. Furthermore, e-government can remove potential intimidation and corruption from the management of government departments, as well as eliminating repetitive and routine activities for employees. In contrast, Misra (2007) divides the benefits of e-government into three classifications: benefits to citizens that involve cost, speed, transparency and accessibility. Secondly, benefits to business, such as online monetary transactions, improved transparency, saving time, elimination of routine and improved quality. Thirdly, benefits to governments, such as saving time, reducing costs, higher quality and better decision-making. Whereas, Jackson and Curthoys (2001) categorise the benefits into cost benefits and productivity, which will have a positive impact on customer service.

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Although some researchers differentiate between the benefits of e-government system in developed and developing countries, Ndou, (2004) argues that expediency is the same for both developed and developing countries, but the weakness is that developing countries do not reap equal benefits. Ndou (2004) describes seven e-government opportunities that are common: 1. Improved efficiency and lower costs, 2. The quality of service delivered to customers is enhanced, 3. Transparency is increased, which limits potential corruption, 4. Extended capacity for governments, 5. Collaboration among communities, 6. More accurate decision-making, and 7. Promotion of ICT usage in different sectors.

Nevertheless, for e-government programs to be implemented successfully, there are various human resource, managerial, legal and technical requirements that need to be addressed (Al-Shoaibi, 2008). Research findings have suggested the following common requirements: Support for change and determination from political leaders, Availability of a reliable infrastructure, Adapt existing procedures and rules to suit online systems, Identification of security and privacy issues, Human resource training and skills development, Redesign processes to adapt to the new systems, and Clear vision and planning strategy (Bahtngar, 2003).

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Challenge and barriers facing e-government system


Despite the potential expediency and many opportunities of implementing e-government system for citizens, business and government agencies, the transformation towards new innovation faces obstacles and challenges. Heeks (2003) found that 35% of egovernment projects failed completely, while 50% failed partially. However, the same study also found that 15% of e-government projects were successful. Moon (2002) compared the official statements and the reality of e-government with responses from two thousand participants to an e-government survey, and found that most e-government projects remain at the earliest stage of implementation due to obstacles, such as personnel, technical and economic capacities, as well as issues of authentication and security. Many researchers identify significant limitations to implementing egovernment effectively are due to issues of privacy and security (Fountain, 2003; Lam, 2005). Other researchers highlight the lack of suitable infrastructures as a significant obstacle for adoption, such as insufficient computer hardware and software, as well as poor wireless network coverage (Medjahed et al., 2003; Wang et al., 2004). Trust is another obstacle that determines adoption of e-government, which includes trust from citizens that the online process will meet their needs, and also that the government department trusts the process to perform the task (Carter and Belanger, 2005; Ebrahim and Irani, 2005; Ndou, 2004; Dawes et al., 2004). Moreover, a significant challenge, which is also related to the digital divide, is computer literacy, as e-government initiatives will not be successful if citizens lack the knowledge and skills to use them, or are unable to access the Internet (Lam and Lee, 2005). According to Al-Shehry et al. (2006), "Saudi Arabia is facing a vital risk of digital divide, not only among citizens in general but even among employees in the government territory". Other research argues that government policy and procedures for authentication represent significant challenges, as e-government transactions require different legitimacy rules to those used for commercial online transactions (Akman et al., 2005). However, DeBenedictis et al. (2002) argue that significant risks affect the success of egovernment as well as specific elements of this concept, such as privacy, security, costs and technical issues, and the risks were identified as citizens' lack of computer skills and knowledge, lack of access to the Internet, obsolete technology and a poor infrastructure. The empowerment of citizens required the input of their views for government

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decisions, and disabled people lacked access to this technology, and these risks pose concerns for implementing e-government. Moon (2002) describes the lack of technical support, human resources and economic factors to be obstacles to the implementation of e-government (p. 431). These obstacles were also identified in the GOV/PUMA (2003) report, which listed digital, technical, budget, regulation and legislation barriers. Goings, Young, & Hendry (2003) found that funding and staffing were the greatest challenges (70% and 60% agreement respectively) to e-government implementation.

Whereas Ndou (2004) (p.12) highlighted e-government challenges as follows: 1. Lack of ICT infrastructure (software, computer literacy, dependable network and hardware). 2. Authentication issues (policy and legality) 3. Human resource knowledge and skill.(needs of training, classes and workshops) 4. Management change (culture, resistance to change), 5. Partnership and collaboration (public/private partnership, community and network creation), 6. Strategy and plan (vision, mission), 7. Top management role (motivate, involve, influence, support).

Many citizens live in deprived areas of society, and they lack awareness of the benefits of the information society, as their priorities are likely to be basic, such as housing and transport (ESCWE, 2003). According to egov.infodev.org, "successful e-government is at most 20% technology and at least 80% about people, processes, and organizations." Altameem et al. (2006) and Al-Karaghouli et al. (2005) argued in their researches that reluctance to change could be addressed by raising awareness of the new technology at early stages of its implementation. Thus, this research will concentrate on this important limitation, which has been ignored by most researchers, and in particular, in developing countries, such as Saudi Arabia, which are affected by this obstacle, due to the high contribution of culture, religion and traditions to citizens' lifestyle. However, these factors may play a different role when it offers opportunities to females to become more involved in the government transactions.

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Moreover, in a case study of Saudi Arabia to discover obstacles and success factors of e-government, Al-Shoaibi (2008) argues that the implementation of this technology in the country needs a strategic plan with clear vision for this to be successful.

Al-Fakhri (2008) studied the issues and challenges facing e-government implementation in Saudi Arabia and found issues that included lack of knowledge and training in using new technology, including government employees, limited government regulations, a weak infrastructure, concerns about security and lack of trust that need to be overcome. In another study, Alharby (2006) studied e-commerce and e-government in Saudi Arabia and attempted to identify obstacles and challenges, and found that the lack of Internet access in significant areas of the country, insufficient training opportunities and weak government policies are negative influences on e-government implementation in the country. Betrah (2010) describes four factors that are likely to determine the diffusion of egovernment in Saudi Arabia, which are: usefulness, image, compatibility and complexity, and the findings recommend that government agencies should consider these factors throughout planning, designing and implementing stages of e-government programs in the country. However, AlSobhi, et al. (2009) illustrate the adoption and diffusion of the e-Office concept and e-Government in a wider perspective at Madinah city, and suggested that economic, security and integration issues between different government departments are significant challenges to e-Government implementation and diffusion.

Heeks (2003) describes seven dimension that might overcome the limitations of implementing e-government systems in developing countries, which are often due to a mismatch between the actual situation and future intentions, which are: (P.3) " Staffing and skills Management systems and structures Other resources: time and money Information Technology Processes Objectives and values".

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In his study, Heeks (2003) divides the gap into three sections: Hard-Soft Gaps. This determines real technology that is hard, and people and culture that are soft, Private-Public Gaps. This explains that private sector systems may not be suitable for application in the public sector, and Country Context Gaps. This suggests that global concepts may need to be adapted to suit the customs and traditions of individual countries.

Heeks (2003) argued that reducing the gaps in the section above could reduce the risk of e-government failure, however Ndou (2004), made several suggestions for the implementation of e-government in developing countries, which are: o E-readiness assessment by evaluating the existing situation, ensuring the infrastructure and telecommunications network are established, develop authentication procedures that can be adopted and improve the skills and knowledge of people, so there is a clear strategy and vision, o Raise awareness for the business sector and citizens through seminars, workshops and presentations, so that potential users perceive benefits, o Think small by concentrating on specific aspects of the project and be flexible to make changes quickly throughout the implementation, o Invest in training for government employees to raise their skills and knowledge to handle e-government, o Show sensitivity in encouraging communities to participate effectively in introducing the new information technology by considering different ways of approaching this, o Adopt a comprehensive approach to overcome resistance to change with a detailed planning strategy and clear vision, and o Prepare to manage knowledge and change.

Supporting these proposals, Al-Shoaibi (2008) argues that for e-government to be implemented successfully in Saudi Arabia the following factors need to be applied: a clear vision and strategy, implementation should be a step-by-step process, adapting existing procedures for e-government, raise awareness of benefits to citizens, inspire 25

confidence for users, improve access to the Internet, narrow the digital divide between citizens, encourage the collaboration of the private and public sectors in online services and establish integration between different government departments. On the other hand, Al-Fakhri et al. (2008) recommend the Saudi Government to consider the following proposals: The Saudi government should raise awareness of e-government with its employees and citizens by greater engagement and regular meetings, All public facilities, such as schools, universities and libraries should offer computer and Internet access, The Saudi government should establish valid authentication procedures to ensure the legality of online transactions, Saudi public organizations need to adopt greater flexibility in their procedures, IT training courses are needed for government employees, All citizens should be able to access e-government, including consideration for those who are disabled, Cooperation between public and private sectors is needed to ensure online transactions are secure, One web portal should integrate all government services, There should be amalgamation between the government agencies and the beneficiaries. The government websites should enable usability, ease of navigation and clear language. However, Altameem et al. (2006) considered critical success factors (CSF) in implementing e-government and categorized these factors into three main paradigms. Organizational factor which include the vision-mission, top management support, leadership style and organisation culture. Technological factor which encompass usability, accessibility, security and flexibility. Finally, user factor which contains computer literacy, training and awareness. Whereas Wood-Harper et al., (2004) purport that people , process and system are consider as significant factors in adapting egovernment system successfully.

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E-government among citizens


E-government systems need to identify citizens' needs and the diverse mix of citizens, and then establish online services that will meet their expectations. "The intention should be to delight and not merely satisfy the users through this government-citizen interface. There is a need for a more citizen-centric approach" (Pandey and Geetika, 2009). According to the National Research Council, (2002) the government to citizen service should provide the basic information that citizens need and enable them to complete transactions by e-government, however the number of citizens who use egovernment in developing countries is low (Heeks, 2006). Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between citizens' attitudes to e-government and its rate of use by citizens (Graafland-Essers & Ettedgui 2003, Accenture 2005). According to Rogers (2003), younger users with high incomes and advanced levels of education are more likely to adapt to new technology than others. Rogers (2003) also argues that innovative users have more ability to engage with others and capability to involve in social networks, which affect their adaptation to new technology, especially with enough resources. Chen and Wellman (2004) studied the use of the Internet in China, Germany, Korea, Italy, Japan, Mexico, UK, and USA indicated that younger males who live in urban areas are most likely use the Internet. MacGregor and Vrazalic (2006) support these results by revealing that females are more concerned about using e-commerce than males. Nevertheless, these findings are not applied to Saudi Arabia, as females are more likely to use e-services than males due to religious and cultural aspects and they find online services as a preferred way of engaging with society (Siddiqui, 2008). Sipior & Ward (2005) conducted research among US citizens, and discovered around two thirds of the respondents had used e-government websites, but did not intend to use these again. In the UK, a survey showed that 18% of respondents had used e-government systems (TNS 2003) while 35% of business transactions for e-government were performed online (DTI 2004). Carter and Belanger (2004) argue that citizens are influenced to use e-government by factors of perceived usefulness, relative advantage and compatibility justified by a technology acceptance model (TAM) and diffusions of innovation theory (DOI).

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They identified relative advantage as a perception that is better than an existing process and compatibility as the innovation being perceived as consistent with the needs of users, previous experiences and established values. However, Rogers (2003) describes the critical factors that affect citizens intention to adapt to new technology are compatibility, complexity or perceptions of difficulty, trialability or trial periods and observability where results are visible in his study of DOI. E-government enables transparency in aspect of politics by building trust between citizens and government departments (Heeks, 2003). The government of Saudi Arabia, along with many other developing countries, has identified the importance of egovernment to improve the quality of life for its citizens, but its success is dependent on establishing a user-centred approach, which is likely to meet the needs and wishes of citizens, prior to proceeding with the installation of the technology (Alsheha, 2007). Limited research has been undertaken into the adoption of e-government in Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, and one study by Al-Mashet (2005) indicates the importance of non-technical factors, such as economic, administrative and human, that are needed to implement e-government successfully. Alsaghier et al. (2009) proposes "a conceptual model of citizens' trust in e-government" using Q-sorting methodology to ensure reliability and validity, and he concludes there should be an emphasis on the influence of trust, disposition to trust and familiarity- and institution-based trust to engage the citizens in e-government services. Moreover, Al-Adawi et al. (2005) describe a conceptual model that determines what drives citizens' intentions to adopt egovernment, and their perception of the use of e-government. Al-Adawi et al. (2005) argue that government departments should use their credibility and benevolence to improve citizens' perception of trustworthiness. Al-Shehry et al. (2006) explain there are many influences that may encourage change to e-government, such as cultural, social, economic, political and management, and all these factors are relevant in Saudi Arabia. The challenges and advantages of the e-government program in Saudi Arabia were studied by Alsheha (2007), who suggested there needs to be collaboration between the designers of government websites and citizens as the earliest stages to ensure the websites meet the needs of citizens.

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Burgelman et al. (2005) present various factors that can lead to maintaining citizens' interest and usage of government e-services: The superiority and usability of the service, The service recognises citizens' expectations, Availability of technical support, and Accessibility of the service that reduces costs and saves time.

Magoutas and Mentzas (2009) emphasise the importance of quality for citizens when using e-government services and propose a framework for monitoring citizens' satisfaction from e-government services to achieve a high quality service, which they called SALT.

Creating a citizen-based approach for e-government systems needs sophisticated processes and significant effort, a desire to assess quality, monitor the correlation between users' needs and the services provided and a willingness to learn from the processes of assessment and analysis (Bertot et al, 2008). In this research, strategies for citizen-centred e-government were suggested: form community-based partnerships, evaluate e-government services for improvement, engage users, conduct user information needs assessments and understand users' ICT availability, expertise and preferences.

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E-government in Saudi Arabia


This section will focus on the position of e-government program in Saudi Arabia from different aspects, and the researcher will consider the demographics, economy, and cultural characteristics in the kingdom by analysing some general information about the subject and identify its impact on the online service. Moreover, this section will highlight some innovative projects in the IT field in the kingdom.

Figure 2.3 map of Saudi Arabia : Source: (https://www.cia.gov/library/pub -1 0

Background about the kingdom The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is situated in the Middle East and occupies over two thirds of the Arabian peninsular with an area of about 2 million sq km or 865,000 square miles. The main language of the country is Arabic. King Abdulaziz Alsaud founded the modern Saudi state in 1932 (The World Fact Book, 2010). The country has a monarchy, and is governed based on Islamic law according to sharia." ABDALLAH bin Abd alAziz Al Saud is the King and Prime Minister (since 1 August 2005); Crown Prince SULTAN bin Abd al- Aziz Al Saud is Heir Apparent (half brother of the monarch); therefore, the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government"(Alfaisal University,2008). The capital city is Riyadh at the centre of the country, with Jeddah and Dammam being the main port and commercial city at the west and east cost of the country respectively. The climate is generally hot and dry with temperatures exceeding 55C in summer, but with milder temperatures in winter, but these temperatures mean that citizens remain at home during the day in the summer, and therefore may prefer to use e-government 31

systems that visiting government offices. In July 2010, the population of the country was 29,207,277, which demonstrates a growth rate of 1.75%. Young people make up the largest group of the population with 38% of the population aged below 14 and 59.5% aged between 15-64 and only 2.5% of the population are above 65. The average age of the total population is 21.6 years, with the female average age of 20 years, which is less than males who have average age of 22.9 years (The World Fact Book, 2010). Consequently, the facts relating to the high number of young people in Saudi Arabia will support the country in its plan to move towards an information society more easily, because young people have a better ability to adapt to new technology and a greater capability to learn new skills that older people.

According to the World Fact Book (2008), 82% of the total population lives in urban areas, which will have greater likelihood of Internet access and demonstrates good potential for this urban group to bridge the digital divide. Moreover, the literacy rate of the country is 78.8% for the total population, with 84.75% literacy rate for males and 70.8% literacy rate among females (The World Fact Book, 2003).

The economy of Saudi Arabia is based on oil, which is reflected in 90% of its export earnings, 45% of GDP and 80% of budget revenues, and has the largest reserves of oil and 20% of the world's reserves. As a result, Saudi Arabia has a significant role in OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum. Nevertheless, the country has other industries that support its economy, including iron and natural gas, as well as associated petrochemical industries (The World Fact Book, 2003). As a result of this strong economy, the government has the capacity for transformation towards e-government projects, with the financial capability to build an adequate infrastructure for this new technology. In particular, the country is able to build a reliable Internet infrastructure and invest in the required hardware and software, as well as providing training and support for e-government with expertise of consultants from across the world. However, Saudi Arabia has an unemployment rate of 11.6% of the total population of males (The World Fact Book, 2003), and as a result, citizens are concerned about this percentage rate increasing by implementing the e-government program, because 31

government departments will need less employees with a greater dependency on the new technology. The culture of Saudi Arabia is determined by traditions, religion and tribal systems (AlShehry et al., 2006), which leads to bias and nepotism in many aspects of Saudi society. Nevertheless, e-government would offer a solution to this problem, particularly in government departments. From the religious aspect, the country is regarded as the centre of Islam and has two holy mosques (Al-Farsy, 2003); therefore, around two million Muslims visit these mosques at Makah and Almadinah every year as a pilgrimage and to perform Umrah. Such large numbers of people who come at the same time to the country need sophisticated coordination to control the movement of these people and to ensure their safety and efficient travel arrangements. E-government could be an innovative opportunity to manage the vast data and organise these visitors' journeys. The traditional culture of Saudi society is conservative, and women could not drive cars until recently and they do not socialise with men. Thus, females have motivation to adopt e-government services and enable them to bridge the digital divide (Siddiqui, 2008).

ICT (Information Communication Technology) systems in Saudi Arabia

The modernization and transformation of Saudi society to new technology by maintaining traditional culture and religion has been supported by the government, who have employed international consultants to advise on implementing the new technology in the country (Al-Shehry et al., 2006). The Internet was first launched in Saudi Arabia between 1997-1999 after significant internal arguments regarding control of the contents of websites (CITC, 2007). The solution was found by filtering which websites could be accessed by citizens from their homes to prevent viewing undesirable material (AlSaggaf, 2004). The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology was set up by the government in 2003 to control the use of ICT across the country and manage the IT service for citizens (Abanumy and Mayhew, 2005).

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This Ministry began by privatising the telecommunications sector in 2007, but prior to this initiative, in 2005 the government invested in an innovative project to supply a computer to every home in the country at a low cost to improve computer literacy for citizens (MICT, 2004). Moreover, the ministry of education introduced classes to teach pupils ICT skills. However, Al-Turki and Tang, (1998) argue there are significant constraints that the Saudi government needs to address regarding IT, which are insufficient IT training, the lack of an IT strategy, employees lack IT qualifications and expertise, little support for IT from senior managers and insufficient budgets for IT.

Number of Internet Users in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia has recorded a rapid increase in the number of Internet users from around 1 million in 2001 to approximately 9.8 million in 2009, and Internet penetration increased to 38.3% of the population (CITC, 2009). Nevertheless, citizens' willingness to adapt to new technology is influenced by the conservative nature of the population (Gartner, 2006). Here are brief statistics about Internet usage in Saudi Arabia and the percentage of Internet penetration of users. Date 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 # of Users/ million 1 Users/ million 1.4 Users/ million 1.8 Users/ million 2.4 Users/ million 3 Users/ million 4.7 Users/ million 7.3 Users/ million 9.1 Users/ million 9.1 Users/ million Penetration percentage 5% 6% 8% 10% 13% 20% 30% 36% 38%

Figure 2.3 internet users Adapted from CITC Annual Report 2009 1

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Figure 2.4: Source: (CITC, 2009) 1

According to CITC, (2009) 49% of Saudi citizens own a personal or desktop computer and for citizens aged between 15-60 years, the percentage increases to 77%. In contrast to these figures, about 60% of the population own a laptop computer, and 94% of citizens use a computer at home, and 65% of women use the computer each day. The greatest uses of the computer in Saudi Arabia is to browse the Internet (53%), and to communicate with friends and relatives (12%) (CITC, 2009).

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Overview of initiatives e-government project Yasser program Yesser is an Arabic word that stands for, 'simplify' or 'facilitate', and it is the name of the program launched in 2005 by the Saudi government with the cooperation of the Ministry of Communication, the Ministry of Finance and the Governor of Communications and IT Commission (CITC) for transforming the public sector into an information society. The vision statement of the program is: "By the end of 2010, everyone in the kingdom will be able to enjoy from anywhere and at any time world class government services offered in a seamless, user friendly and secure way by utilizing a variety of electronic means" (Yesser.com). This supports the findings of Gartner (2004) which embrace providing the service to the customers, focus on the human resources knowledge and skills by training, moving towards decentralisation, better integration and interaction, less synchronisation and more empowerment and participation are the way toward information society. This vision has a strategic plan to apply ten objectives in order to be achieved through five years. Those objectives are described as follow:

Figure 2.5: Source: Yesser.com 1

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The Yesser program is considered as the "Enabler and facilitator for transforming the public sector to the information society" (Al-Sabti, 2005). This program supplies information, increases effectiveness and efficiency and offers a premium service, but to be successful it needs greater coordination and integration throughout organizations, a change of cultural attitudes and greater support from top management (AlSabti, 2005). Although this initiative to promote ICT in Saudi Arabia began later than in many other countries, a United Nations survey ranks the country's readiness for e-government in 2005 at 80 in the world, but in 2008 it was ranked at 70 and in 2010 it was ranked at 58 (UN, 2005, 2008, 2010). Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia remains significantly behind readiness for e-government implementation of developed countries, as well as the least ready of countries in the Arab world (Al-Shoaibi, 2008). The strategic objectives of Yesser program will only be achieved successfully if determining factors, such as national application for the project, e-service project and adequate infrastructure are adopted (Al Ghoson, 2010). The figure below illustrates that the structure for IT began in 1998 with the country's first telecom company.

Figure 2.6 : Source: (AL-Sabti, 2005) 1

This initial programme has already yielded benefits, as the first stage of the egovernment website contains information about G2B and G2C services by applying electronic forms and electronic workflows, including barcodes or XML for the content of forms in G2G transactions (AL-Sabti, 2005). 36

The Yesser program adopted a strategic plan to create new channels for Internet access, better cooperation and collaboration between government departments, change rules and regulations to adapt to e-government, raise awareness and change behaviour of end users and initiate a re-engineering process to ensure citizens remain the central focus of egovernment (Yesser, 2006). The Gartner Group measured the progress achieved by the Yesser program against its framework and described its policy and strategy to be advanced with detailed ICT planning and clear vision, however the use of highly skilled people in the program places this aspect at phase two. Furthermore, the overall phase for Yesser was judged to be at phase two, but with re-engineering processes needing more effort. Nevertheless, if evaluation was based solely on infrastructure, the Garner Group judged that the program would have demonstrated small progress at phase three, which is illustrated in the figure below (Gartner, 2007).

Figure 2.8 Gartner researches 1

According to Gartner (2007), the determining factors of high levels of investment in ICT infrastructure, the establishment of a clear vision and planning strategy and the support of King Abdullah who represents senior management, have a positive influence for the implementation of e-government systems in the country and its transformation into an information society. 37

Accomplished National Application projects This section of the research will illustrate the initial projects of e-government among different public organizations in Saudi Arabia. E-Payment Gateway Sadad The country's monetary agency the e-payment gateway in 2004, and in July 2008 it was recognised as the best service improvement in e-government projects in West Asia by the United Nations Public Service Award (Al Ghoson, 2010). The main objective of this project was to centralise all data relating to consumers payments for e-payments, telephone payments and ATM transactions in one central database for all Saudi banking channels, which demonstrates the integration of G2B, B2B and G2C integration for electronic bill payments. Smart Card Project The Ministry of the Interior has introduced a smart card, which has a micro chip that stores personal information, fingerprints, medical and driving licence, and has the capacity to hold digital certificates (Alsabti, 2005). This smart card may also be used instead of a passport to travel between GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries. E-Umrah Saudi Arabia receives many Muslim pilgrims to perform Umrah in the cities of Makkah and Madinah. Visitors who want to perform Umrah are not charged for visas, but the application process can take up to three months to complete. In contrast, the E-Umrah program enables visas for Umrah to he issued within 24 hours, and so contributes to the efficiency of organising Umrah. This also demonstrates the integration of the Interior, Foreign Affairs and Hajj Ministries AL-Sabti, 2005).

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Electronic Data Interchange Project (SaudiEDI) The Electronic Data Interchange Project provides the structure for supporting the processes of international imports and exports, which includes customs, the organisation of ports and agents that handle cargo and customs clearance. The transformation to this system of e-government has reduced costs by about half, and the speed of handling these aspects has been increase seven fold. Al Madinah Almunawwarah E-Government Portal An e-government website was designed and launched for the municipality of Almadinah Almunawwarah, which offers G2B and G2C services that enable greater efficiency, good accessibility and is faster and a higher quality than traditional services provided previously. Therefore, this project provides services in phases two and three and may be accessed via (www.almadinah.gov.sa). MOI (Ministry of Interior) Portal This website enables citizens to access 20 electronic services, such as information and eforms for passports, birth certificates and driving licences. This project also installed 100 electronic kiosks to enable better access for citizens (www.saudi.gov.sa).

Figure 2.9 Source: (AL-Sabti, 2005) 2

Nevertheless, e-government is shown to be an early stage of development in Saudi Arabia, and citizens' awareness of this new technology needs more effort and time before it becomes more widely adopted.

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Chapter three
Methodology
Research Method
This project focuses on significant factors that affect e-government adoption within the public sector in Saudi Arabia. The research has illustrated many variables in Saudi society and the characteristics of the citizens. The research question and the aims and objectives were considered, and the hypotheses were highlighted before selecting the methodology. Brown (2003:36) explains that to determine what is happening quantitative data is gathered and analysed. To determine why something is happening qualitative data is gathered. Therefore, quantitative methodology is suitable for assessing the variables that are related to this research and the extent to which they are concerned. Furthermore, quantitative methodology is regarded as a good tool to evaluate demographic data, as a result, quantitative methodology was adopted for this research to study the characteristics of e-government from the perspective of citizens, and a webbased questionnaire was designed to measure Saudi citizens' awareness of e-government systems. Bryman, (1988:12) explains Quantitative research is then, a genre which uses a special language which appears to exhibit some similarity to the ways in which scientists talk about how they investigate the natural order, variable, control, measurement [and] experiment. Another definition of the quantitative research by (Aliaga & Gunderson, 2005) is "Explaining phenomena by collecting numerical data that are analyzed using mathematically based methods (in particular statistic)". Black (1999) defines quantitative methodology as using research method, such as questionnaires that have structured questions with predetermined response options, and involve a large number of respondents.

The deductive approach that is described by the online Dictionary Labour Law Talk (2005), the method of scientific progress whereby a hypothesis is tested by generating predictions that may be tested through scientific experiments was adopted for use in this research by predicting working hypotheses from the literature research, and the data gathered from the survey will be used to test these hypotheses, and to provide validation 41

for the findings. Therefore, the deductive approach may be described as taking general variables to identify specific characteristics as a top-down process.

Advantages of consistency of results and specific targets may be achieved by adopting quantitative methodology (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 1992), but more importantly, subjective judgements of results are eliminated with a quantitative method as it is justified by precise data (Kealey & Protheroe, 1996). Nevertheless, concerns have been raised about the reliability and validity of quantitative methodology (Cassell & Symon, 1994). This study has selected questionnaires as a practical method of gathering data, which will be emailed to respondents to enable this survey to be completed within a limited timescale, which is also cost effective. In contrast to these advantages, quantitative methodology also demonstrates weaknesses, as the questionnaire has a limited focus area for questions and the process does not enable any interaction with participants to identify any misunderstanding or to explain details. As a result, the findings for this research will be limited and subject to the quality and suitability of this survey. Al Turki (2002) argues that researchers need to understand cultural values and characteristics of the environment being studied, such as the contributions of religion and traditions that influence society in countries like Saudi Arabia. Thus, the questionnaire and the quantitative method is suitable for this research to determine awareness of e-government from a random sample, which may include different cultural and ethnic backgrounds across the country, and as a result, the findings may be generalised to a wider perspective. Survey According to Collis and Hussey (2009), "A questioner is a method for collecting primary data in which a sample of respondents are asked a list of carefully structured questions chosen after considerable testing, with a view to electing reliable responses". This research adopted guidelines for designing the questionnaire suggested by Borgatti (1998), which recognised the importance of using language that was clear and avoided any ambiguity, double negatives, false premises, double-barrelled questions or emotional language. To demonstrate the use of these guidelines, the questionnaire included a covering letter that gave explained the objectives of the survey, gave 41

information about the content of the questionnaire, the likely time needed to complete the answers and an assurance to participants that their responses would be anonymous and confidential. In an effort to encourage a high level of responses and to achieve better understanding, the questionnaire was translated into Arabic, the questions were designed to be simple and examples were given for better interpretation. These elements of questionnaire design were justified by Dillman (1983) and cited in Bryman (2004) who explained that a layout that was attractive had a greater likelihood of a higher response rate. Therefore, this study designed questions for the questionnaire that had alternative predetermined or multiple-choice answers, which were intended to allow participants to analyse and compare these easily. Furthermore, the questionnaire was designed in a logical, funnelling order that began with general questions and led onto specific questions, which were then posted on a survey website, which enabled better design capacity and wider potential distribution (http://freeonlinesurveys.com/). The layout of the questionnaire was divided into specific sections, and the first section dealt with personal information about the participants, such as their level of education, income, age and sex. The following section addressed their perception of adopting e-government systems, and the third section focused on positive, stimulating factors that may influence participants to use these services. The final section attempted to discover participants' perceptions of potential obstacles to achieving the proposed benefits of these systems. Sample According to Trochim, (2002), when the population can be divided into subgroups, stratified random sampling can be applied, and then units may be selected randomly from each subgroup, however the division needs to be based on a criterion that is predetermined, such as demographic characteristics, size or geographic location. For the purposes of this study, the population was divided into two strata: adult males and adult females. In Saudi Arabia, mail services are not provided for all homes, and it is difficult to approach women to seek opinions due to cultural constraints and values', therefore drawing an actual representative sample in the country is problematic, and justifies the choice of this sampling technique. As a result, a random sample will be achieved by posting a link to the research survey on social forum websites, 42

which is likely to spread in a hierarchical movement to other social network websites. This hierarchical spread avoids bias or identifying specific groups in society, and justifies the generalisation of the findings to a wider perspective for the whole population. This project used the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to analyse the statistical data gathered, provide a detailed examination of specific elements, identify variables and correlate the analysis (Norusis, 1999).

Reliability and validity The use of a questionnaire to gather data for a survey needs to demonstrate that the results would be the same, irrespective of how or when it was conducted, which provides validity that responses would be similar for other random groups (Gorman and Clayton, 1993). Gorman and Clayton (1993) also explain that validity leads to reliability, so that the method may be repeated, and as a consequence of these findings, this survey has adopted the structure of previous surveys by other researchers and advice from my supervisor, such as written style, layout and distribution method. Furthermore, a pilot survey was conducted to identify ways to improve the questionnaire and improve the approach of the survey, prior to its distribution via the website selected.

Practicalities
This research selected a web-based questionnaire that would be distributed to a random sample of Saudi citizens with different gender, ages, levels of education and varieties of backgrounds within a practical timescale. Furthermore, the survey was posted on a website that is popular in Saudi Arabia, which offered wide sampling. However, a hard copy questionnaire was also distributed to discover the opinions of non-users of the Internet. Furthermore, as a Saudi student in the UK, this research will be an excellent dissertation study, as the findings may be of significant relevance to other students on scholarships. I covered the financial issues in cooperation with my sponsor, the Saudi government, and I worked within the time constraints with an appropriate time management plan, and followed the timetable that was prepared to complete this research. 43

Moreover, a pilot survey was conducted to measure the validity and the reliability of the research, and to assess the suitability of the questions to address the objectives of the project, and to achieve the required targets.

Ethical aspects
Ethics consideration is a significant issue for this research, so issues of safety, anonymity, well-being, confidentiality, coercion, informed consent and data protection of the respondents will be highly prioritised. In this study, all respondents will remain anonymous in accordance with the University of Sheffield research guidelines and data protection. This research is classified as low-risk research and the required ethics application form, an information sheet, and consent forms have been completed and sent to the assigned supervisor to approve.

Limitation
The greatest constraint the researcher faced in this research was the time limitation, as three months did not allow sufficient time to study this subject in depth, but despite this limitation, the questionnaire and the method adopted for its distribution overcame these timescale difficulties, as a high number of responses were completed and returned. Nevertheless, the questionnaire method for collecting data did not allow direct interaction with participants, which would have revealed body language, such as facial expressions or to clarify any misinterpretation of the questions that were revealed in some responses in this survey. Also, the method of gathering data could not recognise respondents that had no opinion of some questions or whether questions were missed in error, and the survey illustrated the difficulty of seeking the view of females, due to cultural constraints.

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Chapter four
Data Presentation
Introduction
This chapter aims to present the results of the questionnaire, following revision and filtering data that contained errors. Firstly, demographic data is described, including gender, age, level of education and income. Then, the results of the evaluation of the perception of Saudi citizens to the adoption of e-government systems are presented. Subsequently, the expediency of the e-government program from Saudi citizens' points of view is expressed. Finally, the chapter describes the challenges facing e-government systems from the citizens' perspective.

Demographic Data
We received about 1024 responses throughout the survey package, but after excluding responses with errors and uncompleted surveys, the data for analysis was based on 990 responses. The most respondents were males with 735 responses, which accounted for 74.29% of the sample, while females only accounted for 25.71% of the total sample with 255 responses. The pie chart below demonstrates this result clearly.

Figure 4.1 gender percentages

A) Male

B) Female

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On the other hand, most participants were aged between 18 to 35 years, which accounts for 75% of the whole sample, with 42.21% aged between 26-35 and 32.8% aged between 18-25. However, fewer participants responded that were aged between 36-50 with 17%. However, only 5.77% of the candidates were aged under 18 and a marginal percentage of 2.32% were over 50. This diagram below illustrates the percentage of participants' ages.

Figure 4.2 age percentage

A) Under 18,

B) 18 to 25

C) 26 to 35

D) 36 to 50

E) Over 50

These results were common to both genders, as 70% of both males and females were aged between 18 to 35 years.

Most participants were well educated, with more than the half having a degree, about 53.2% and account for over 500 responses. Furthermore, about 17% of the participants were postgraduates. However, only 22.9% of the participants had achieved a minimum secondary school education, and just 32 failed to meet secondary school qualifications, which accounts for merely 3.2% of the total sample. The line graph below shows the level of education of the respondents.

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Figure 4.3 education level

A) Pre secondary B) Secondary

C) University

D) Postgraduate

E) Other

Also, the level of education varies little between both genders with 52% of males having a degree and 81.3% of them are postgraduate, while 56.1% of females having a degree but only 12.5% of them are postgraduate.

The monthly income of the participants demonstrates variation between the participants with 28.5% of them receiving 2,000 SR or less, whereas nearly the same percentage about 28.29% receiving between 5,001-10,000 SR a month. The participants who receive between 10,001-15,000 SR account for 17.72% of the total sample, and 13.68% of the sample receive between 2,001-5,000 SR. The survey illustrates that only 11.8% of the respondents are receive 15,001 SR or more monthly. The following diagram demonstrates the monthly income of the participants.

Figure 4.4 monthly incomes

A) 2,000 SR or less

C) 5,001-10,000 SR

E) 15,001 SR or more

B) 2,001-5,000 SR

D) 10,001-15,000 SR 47

However, the monthly income illustrates significant differences between the genders with males receiving more income than females. For instance, 40.5% of females earn 2000 SR or below and 71.4% receive between 2000 to 5000 SR a month, while about 32% of males receive between 5,001-10,000 SR and 18% of them receive between 10,001-15,000 SR.

Perception of Saudi citizens of e-government.


The first question of part two asked the participants if they had heard of the egovernment concept before, and surprisingly 72% of the respondents answered by yes, while only 28% of the participants stated that they had not heard about the concept before, which accounts for nearly 270 of the total sample.

A) Yes

Figure 4.5 e-government concepts

B) No

Indeed, the e-government concept is more commonly identified by the males with 80% of them familiar with the term. However, the term is less well known by females with about half of the respondents identifying familiarity with the concept. Precisely 51.4% of the females stated that they had not heard about the e-government concept before, and 48.6% of them indicated familiarity with the term. Have you heard of the e-government concept before? A Yes B- No
Figure 4.6 e-government concepts among females

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On the other hand, 61.5% of the total participants had never used the government portal which accounted for more than 600 of the responses, while 29.4% of the participants stated that they sometimes explored the e-government website (www.Saudi.gov.sa). No more than 9% of the respondents confirmed the used the portal regularly, which accounts for 90 respondents.

Figure 4.7 e-government access portals

A) Yes

B) Sometimes

C) Never

There are slight differences in the results between genders with 77.6% of females declaring that they had never used the e-government portal, compared to 56.3% of males. However, 11% of the males confirmed they had used the site, but only 2% of females had used the site.

The next question asked the participants if they used the facilities of government websites to obtain general information; 39.5% of the total respondents stated that they had not explored the government websites, and 34.6% of the participants claimed that they sometime used these websites.

Figure 4.8 publishing phase A) Yes B) Sometimes C) No

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Half of the females stated that they never used the government portals to obtain information (publishing phase), while only 36% of the males stated this.

Moreover, in the interacting phase, 52.7% of the respondents had never downloaded official government forms. On the other hand, just 24.6% of the participants utilized the government website to interact with government agencies, and 22.8% of the respondents interact with the government departments online occasionally.

Figure 4.9 Interacting phase A) Yes B) Sometimes C) No

Although 65.5% of the female's respondents never downloaded government forms online, 48.5% of the male's participants did so. An optimistic result in question nine illustrated that about 78% of the respondents (about 770 of the participants) confirmed their intention to participate in the transaction services of the government in the future.

Figure 4.10 transaction stage

A) Yes

B) I don't know

C) No

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These results of intentions to utilize transaction services were greater among males with 82.2% of them intending to use the transactions service in the future. On the other hand, only 65.3% of females intended to do so.

In question ten 80.5% of the total participants stated a preference to move to the Transforming phase by integrating government agencies data into one central database. However, only 9.3% of the respondents did not support the transformation phase and 10.21% were neutral.

Figure 4.11 transformation phase A) Yes B) I don't know C) No

This preference to move to the transformation phase is common between both genders with 82% of males and 75.4% of females supporting data integration within government departments.

Question eleven asked the respondents if they thought that the e-government program would lead to increased Unemployment in the future, and 37.7% of the participants did not believe there was a correlation between the e-government program and the unemployment problem. Conversely, 31.3% of the total participants assumed that implementing the e-government program would lead to greater unemployment in the future.

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Figure 4.12 unemployment problem A) Yes B) I don't know C) No

The percentage of females who thought that e-government program would lead to unemployment problem was higher than the percentage of males who believed this projection. In detail, 33.1% of females believed this, compared to 40% of males.

Expediency of e-government in Saudi Arabia


The third part of the survey considers the features and benefits that could be attained by implementing e-government program in Saudi Arabia. Fifteen opportunities were selected from the literature and listed in the questionnaire to prioritise the most influential advantages of the system from the Saudi citizen's point of view.

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The following table shows the fifteen benefits, which were listed in the survey. Opportunity of implementing e-government program Increased transparency and accountability of government Saving time (you do not have to queue) Saving cost (you do not have to travel to the government agency) Improving efficiency in government departments operations Streamlining the government Transactions processes Faster response from government employees. Reducing corruption in government transactions. Offering the chance for women to access government services online. Offering the chance for disabled people to access government services online. To remove bureaucracy. 24/7 online access. Accessing government services from anywhere. Improving the quality of the government's performance. Enhancing the accuracy of transactions. Eliminating intercession and nepotism.
Table 4.1 opportunity of e-government

72.76% of the respondents strongly agree that the e-government program saves time as the most important benefit. This was followed by 70.97% of the participants who stated that the system offered more accessibility from anywhere. Then, 69.84% identified the benefits for disabled people to access the government services online. Next, 68% of the respondents mentioned the 24/7 online access as a perceived opportunity. However, 65.96% of the participants highlighted the cost saving opportunities of implementing egovernment systems in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, 62% of female respondents claimed that the e-government system offered the chance for women to access government services online as the most momentous opportunity.

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Opportunity of e-government

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Average Score 1.93 / 5 (38.60 1.41 / 5 (28.20%) 1.50 / 5 (30.00%)

Increasing transparency and accountability of government Saving time (you do not have to queue) Saving cost (you do not have to travel to the government agency) Improving efficiency in government departments operations Streamlining the government's transactions processes Faster response from government employees. Reducing corruption in government transactions. Offering the chance for women to access government services online. Offering the chance for disable people to access government services online. To remove bureaucracy.

413 (41.84%) 712 (72.73%) 648 (65.92%)

315 (31.91%) 199 (20.33%) 236 (24.01%)

197 (19.96%) 26 (2.66%) 58 (5.90%)

35 (3.55%) 15 (1.53%) 29 (2.95%)

27 (2.74%) 27 (2.76%) 12 (1.22%)

543 (55.58%)

289 (29.58%)

106 (10.85%)

26 (2.66%)

13 (1.33%)

1.65 / 5 (33.00%)

595 (61.03%) 544 (55.85%) 520 (53.39%) 561 (57.66%)

276 (28.31%) 229 (23.51%) 214 (21.97%) 289 (29.70%)

63 (6.46%) 131 (13.45%) 173 (17.76%) 85 (8.74%)

25 (2.56%) 44 (4.52%) 42 (4.31%) 17 (1.75%)

16 (1.64%) 26 (2.67%) 25 (2.57%) 21 (2.16%)

1.55 / 5 (31.00%) 1.75 / 5 (35.00%) 1.81 / 5 (36.20%) 1.61 / 5 (32.20%)

682 (69.81%)

235 (24.05%)

41 (4.20%)

10 (1.02%)

9 (0.92%)

1.39 / 5 (27.80%)

585 (59.88%)

254 (26.00%) 213 (21.87%) 229 (23.51%) 244 (25.00%) 274 (28.28%) 146 (14.99%)

101 (10.34%) 63 (6.47%) 30 (3.08%) 104 (10.66%) 122 (12.59%) 136 (13.96%)

23 (2.35%) 20 (2.05%) 14 (1.44%) 25 (2.56%) 24 (2.48%) 62 (6.37%)

14 (1.43%) 13 (1.33%) 10 (1.03%) 13 (1.33%) 12 (1.24%) 66 (6.78%)

1.59 / 5 (31.80%) 1.46 / 5 (29.20%) 1.38 / 5 (27.60%) 1.59 / 5 (31.80%) 1.66 / 5 (33.20%) 1.89 / 5 (37.80%) 1.61 / 5 (32.23%)

24/7 online access.

665 (68.28%)

Accessing government services from anywhere. Improving the quality of the government's performance. Enhancing the accuracy of the transactions. Eliminating intercession and nepotism.

691 (70.94%) 590 (60.45%) 537 (55.42%) 564 (57.91%)

Table 4.2 percentage of e-government benefits Among Saudi citizens

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Challenge facing e-government


In section four, the challenges and barriers facing e-government implementation in Saudi Arabia were raised. The survey listed sixteen obstacles facing the adaptation of the new system and asked the respondents to evaluate these barriers. The following table addresses the sixteen obstacles as in the survey.

Challenge factors facing e-government Lack of Privacy. Lack of Security Lack of Trust in the Internet network. Lack of Trust in government employees. Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among government employees. Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among the citizens. Different legitimacy rules needed through the online transactions rather than traditional transactions Fear of technology Resistance to change Cost of Internet access Inadequate infrastructure (Internet network, hardware or software). Lack of media guidance. The user interface of government website is not easy to explore. Not everyone can afford a computer Not everyone has Internet connection. Not everyone has computer skills.

Table 4.3 challenges facing e-government

Overall, the respondents strongly agreed one of the major limitations of implementing egovernment system in Saudi Arabia was the lack of media guidance and awareness of the new innovation, supported by about 74% of the participants. This was followed by the digital divide constrain, identified by more than 62% of the total respondents who

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claimed that not everyone has computer skills and approximately 59.60% of the total respondents declared that not everyone in the country has Internet connection. The lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among the government employees came in third position with a slight difference to the second ranking with 61.5 %. The lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among citizens was seen as a crucial challenge facing the e-government implementation in Saudi Arabia with 62% of the respondents claimed that. Inadequate infrastructure was considered as a critical obstacle facing the implementation of e-government program in Saudi Arabia with 59.23 % of the respondents identifying this.

Overall, both genders mentioned the same challenges and agreed on the significance of the above-mentioned obstacles facing the e-government in Saudi Arabia.

Figure 4.13 obstacles of e-government

H) Fear of technology I) Resistance to change J) Cost of Internet access K) Inadequate infrastructure (Internet network, hardware or software). L) Lack of media guidance. M) The user interface of government website is not easy to explore. N) Not everyone can afford a computer O) Not everyone has Internet connection. P) Not everyone has computer skills.

A) Lack of Privacy. B) Lack of Security C) Lack of Trust in the Internet network. D) Lack of Trust in government employees. E) Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among government employees. F) Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among the citizens. G) Different legitimacy rules needed through the online transactions rather than traditional transactions

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Challenge factors
Lack of Privacy.

Strongly agree 135 (14.03%)

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Average Score 2.83 / 5 (56.60%) 2.68 / 5 (53.60%) 2.87 / 5 (57.40%) 2.62 / 5 (52.40%) 2.33 / 5 (46.60%)

215 (22.35%) 310 (32.26%) 250 (26.12%) 263 (27.51%) 353 (37.32%)

373 (38.77%) 251 (26.12%) 224 (23.41%) 293 (30.65%) 202 (21.35%)

153 (15.90%) 163 (16.96%) 240 (25.08%) 138 (14.44%) 111 (11.73%)

86 (8.94%) 78 (8.12%) 94 (9.82%) 71 (7.43%) 42 (4.44%)

Lack of Security

159 (16.55%)

Lack of Trust in the Internet network. Lack of Trust in government employees. Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among government employees. Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among the citizens. Different legitimacy rules needed through the online transactions rather than traditional transactions Fear of technology

149 (15.57%) 191 (19.98%) 238 (25.16%)

226 (24.04%)

353 (37.55%)

191 (20.32%)

131 (13.94%)

39 (4.15%)

2.37 / 5 (47.40%)

246 (25.79%)

262 (27.46%)

257 (26.94%)

104 (10.90%)

85 (8.91%)

2.50 / 5 (50.00%)

130 (13.58%)

250 (26.12%) 275 (29.26%) 223 (23.57%) 279 (29.31%) 341 (35.93%) 231 (24.24%) 279 (29.37%) 272 (28.45%) 324 (34.03%)

219 (22.88%) 207 (22.02%) 192 (20.30%) 199 (20.90%) 133 (14.01%) 334 (35.05%) 180 (18.95%) 168 (17.57%) 234 (24.58%)

225 (23.51%) 200 (21.28%) 220 (23.26%) 115 (12.08%) 70 (7.38%) 179 (18.78%) 171 (18.00%) 140 (14.64%) 83 (8.72%)

133 (13.90%) 92 (9.79%) 153 (16.17%) 74 (7.77%) 41 (4.32%) 71 (7.45%) 81 (8.53%) 78 (8.16%) 37 (3.89%)

2.98 / 5 (59.60%) 2.76 / 5 (55.20%) 2.99 / 5 (59.80%) 2.38 / 5 (47.60%) 2.03 / 5 (40.60%) 2.80 / 5 (56.00%) 2.55 / 5 (51.00%) 2.40 / 5 (48.00%) 2.25 / 5 (45.00%) 2.58 / 5

Resistance to change

166 (17.66%)

Cost of Internet access

158 (16.70%)

Inadequate infrastructure (Internet network, hardware or software). Lack of media guidance.

285 (29.94%) 364 (38.36%)

The user interface of government website is not easy to explore. Not everyone can afford a computer Not everyone has Internet connection. Not everyone has computer skills.

138 (14.48%) 239 (25.16%) 298 (31.17%) 274 (28.78%)

Table 4.4 percentage of e-government challenges

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Chapter five
Analysis and Discussion
Introduction
This chapter will discuss the results of the quantitative survey by implementing some significant tests utilizing the SPSS program and evaluating the working hypotheses that were derived from the literature. E-government is a new concept that needs to be assessed, which can be achieved by the statistical analysis of citizen's behaviour towards this to gain greater understanding (Field, 2005).

Demographic variables and e-government adaptation


Madden and Savage (2000) argued in their research that young males with high income and high level of education are more likely to use the internet in Australia. Moreover, Choudrie and Dwivedi (2005) confirmed in their research the influence of the economic factor and its impact on the individual to own and use the technology. Furthermore, Rogers (2003) examined the important role of the demographic factors to adapt new technology and he emphasis on the user's ability to afford the technology. Hence, the following hypothesis is proposed. The demographic variables of gender, age, level of education and income will differentiate between citizens' adoption of e-government systems, and income is considered as the strongest influencing factor. A logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate this hypothesis by conducting the test from the gender, age, level of education and income variables against the adoption of e-government in Saudi Arabia by utilising questions five and six in the survey.

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Likelihood Ratio Tests Effect Model Fitting Criteria -2 Log Likelihood of Reduced Model Intercept Gender Age Education Income 286.499
a

Likelihood Ratio Tests

Chi-Square .000 69.000 3.378 44.873 10.946

df 0 1 4 29 4

Sig. . .000 .497 .030 .027

355.498 289.876 331.371 297.445

Table 5.1 demographic variable likehood

The results show that gender, income and education significantly affect the adoption of e-government in Saudi Arabia. The gender is described as the best predictor of egovernment adoption (with P= 0.00 0.05) due to the fact that males are more likely to adopt e-services in the kingdom. Then, the adoption of the new technology is influenced by income categories, which emerge that a high level of income leads to a high rate of e-government adoption and this is a logic result because high income citizens can afford the rate of the network and the cost of the hardware (with P= 0.027 0.05). Finally, the level of education was considered as a significant factor that affected adoption (with P= 0.03 0.05). However, age was not consider as a significant factor to adapt e-government system in Saudi Arabia(with P=0.4970.05) and this is dud to the fact that the majority of Saudi population are young with average age of 21.6 years as we interpreted from the literature reniew (chapter two ) (The World Fact Book, 2010).

Although a number of studies (Chen & Wellman, 2004; Laukkanen & Pasanen, 2008; MacGregor & Vrazalic, 2006; Slyke et al., 2002; Venkatesh & Morris, 2000) argued that males are more likely to use the e-services in western culture, this situation is differ in Saudi Arabia with females are have more intention to adapt eservices (Siddiqui, 2008). According to Berkman,( 2005) Saudi society is conservative and females found eservices as a chance to involve with the society online from home .thus, this hypothesis is proposed: Females will play a vital role in adopting online services in Saudi Arabia

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To test this hypothesis a chi-square test was used to measure the gender awareness of e-government by conducting the test throughout questions number one and five. Then an ANOVA test will be held via questions number one and six to assess the attitudes of utilizing the e-government services between both genders.
Chi-Square Tests Asymp. Sig. Value Pearson Chi-Square Continuity Correction Likelihood Ratio Fisher's Exact Test Linear-by-Linear Association N of Valid Cases 93.506 990 1 .000
b

Exact Sig. (2-sided)

Exact Sig. (1-sided)

df
a

(2-sided) 1 1 1 .000 .000 .000

93.601

92.029 87.642

.000

.000

a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 69.70. b. Computed only for a 2x2 table Table 5.2 Chi-Square for Gender adoption

ANOVA Sum of Squares Q5 Between Groups 18.820 Within Groups 180.235 Total 199.055 Q6 Between Groups 16.879 Within Groups 409.389 Total 426.268 1 988 989 1 994 995 16.879 .412 40.982 .000 df Mean Square 18.820 .182 F 103.166 Sig. .000

Table 5.3 ANOVA Test for Gender adoption

Both test reveal significant differences of e-government awareness toward males with a higher mean square and (P =0.00 0.05). Thus, this hypothesis will be rejected and this result may be due to the small number of female samples in the survey compared to male samples. Moreover, females may interest on e-services other than e-government which usually handle by males while women are interesting on e-shopping and e-commerce more than men. However, these result supports the global norms of males are more likely to utilise the e-services compared to females.

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According to AL-Shehry et al,(2006) more than 60% of the Saudi populations are below 25 of age and this majority of young people are more interesting to adapt new technology and have more ability to learn new skills. Consequently, the following hypothesis is proposed. The youth majority of the citizens will support the transformation to the new innovation. This hypothesis will be evaluated using ANOVA test by conducting the test of egovernment perception (questions five and six) among different ages (question two).
ANOVA Sum of Squares Q5 Between Groups Within Groups Total Q6 Between Groups Within Groups Total 10.006 190.008 200.014 10.838 415.152 df 4 986 990 4 990 2.710 .419 6.462 .000 Mean Square 2.502 .193 F 12.981 Sig. .000

425.990 994 Table 5.4 ANOVA Test for Age adoption

The table above confirms the working hypothesis, which stated that youth has a significant effect in adopting government online services. The average mean square is 2.5-2.7, which means the group, aged between18-30 has P= .000 0.05 which shows significant influence on e-government perception.

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Participating in publishing and interacting phases


According to many researchers such as (Choudrie and Dwivedi (2005), Choudrie and Papazafeiropoulou (2006)), the level of education consider as a fundamental factor to adapt new technology. Therefore, the following hypothesis is considered: Utilizing the current e-government services (publishing and Interacting phase) depends on the citizen's level of education. To test this hypothesis an ANOVA test was conducted among different levels of education (question three) to use the current initial services during the publishing and interacting stages (questions seven and eight).
ANOVA Sum of Squares Q7 Between Groups Within Groups Total Q8 Between Groups Within Groups Total 6.786 625.934 632.720 13.976 673.939 df 3 993 996 3 989 4.659 .681 6.837 .000 Mean Square 2.262 .630 F 3.588 Sig. .013

687.915 992 Table 5.5 ANOVA Test for Level of education adoption

The table above illustrates the significant effect of levels of education have on utilizing the current e-government services, which prove the hypothesis above. As we can see from the data, people with university degrees and above are more likely to use the current e-government services. As a result of the high literacy and computer skills among this stratum.

Participating on transacting and transformation phases


This new phenomena is in the early stage of the implementation process and with the growth of the current educated young generation, the widespread of the program will be more easy and the intention to use the technology will be improved (AL-Shehry et al, 2006). So, the following hypothesis was projected to examine.

The intention of the citizens to utilize the service in the future (transacting and transformation phases) is initiatively optimistic.

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Q9
Frequency Valid YES I dont know NO Total Missing Total System 775 166 53 994 25 1019 Percent 76.1 16.3 5.2 97.5 2.5 100.0 Valid Percent 78.0 16.7 5.3 100.0 Cumulative Percent 78.0 94.7 100.0

Table 5.6 Frequency Test for citizens intention to adapt e-government

Q10

Frequency Valid YES I dont know NO Total Missing Total System 805 102 95 1002 17 1019

Percent 79.0 10.0 9.3 98.3 1.7 100.0

Valid Percent 80.3 10.2 9.5 100.0

Cumulative Percent 80.3 90.5 100.0

Table 5.7 Frequency Test for citizen's intention to adapt e-government

From the tables above we can surmise that the percentages and frequency of Saudi citizens who intend to use the e-government services in the future is high throughout questions nine and ten. The strong intention to participate on transacting and transformation phases supports the hypothesis above with 76% and 79% respectively.

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Opportunity of e-government system


According to many researchers such as (Bonham, et al., 2001; Moon, 2002; OECD, 2004 and The World Bank, 2003) accessibility consider as one of the crucial expediency of implementing e- government program which users looking for. Hence, the following hypothesis is proposed to assess. Accessibility is one of the major benefits of implementing e-government program in Saudi Arabia. By categorising the benefits of implementing e-government program in Saudi Arabia using the factorial analysis and utilising data from question number twelve.
KMO and Bartlett's Test Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy. Bartlett's Test of Sphericity Approx. Chi-Square df Sig. Table 5.8 benefits of implementing e-government factor extraction .927 7693.199 105 .000 Q12g Q12n Q12f Q12o Q12m Q12d Q12e Q12a Q12i Q12b Q12c Q12l Q12h Q12k Q12j .411 .448 Rotated Component Matrix Component 1 .786 .742 .740 .739 .736 .633 .616 .526 .754 .746 .736 .654 .652 .649 .562 .463 .515 2
a

According to the table above KMO value for sampling adequacy is 0.927. The rotated component Matrix shows two components: Components one which deals with benefits to the government agencies such as Checking corruption in the government transactions. Enhancing the accuracy of the transactions. Faster response from the government employees. Eliminating Intercession and nepotism. Improving the quality of the government performance. However, component two which are related to the citizen's opportunities such as:

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a. Rotation converged in 3 iterations.

Offering the chance for disabled people to access government services online. Saving time. Reducing costs. Accessing the services from anywhere. 24/7 online access. 64

Descriptive Statistics Mean Q12a Q12b Q12c Q12d Q12e Q12f Q12g Q12h Q12i Q12j Q12k Q12l Q12m Q12n Q12o 1.91 1.39 1.48 1.64 1.54 1.74 1.81 1.59 1.38 1.58 1.45 1.37 1.59 1.66 1.89 Std. Deviation .999 .815 .821 .875 .848 1.028 1.042 .858 .695 .872 .816 .707 .874 .889 1.257 Analysis N 926 926 926 926 926 926 926 926 926 926 926 926 926 926 926

Table 5.9 benefits of implementing e-government by descriptive method

The following are classification of the e-government system benefits according to the mean value: 1) Accessing the services from anywhere. 2) Offering the chance for disable people to enroll with government services online. 3) Saving the time. 4) 24/7 online access. 5) Saving the cost.

Throughout the descriptive statistic and by comparing the mean of the benefits factors, we can deduce that accessibility is one of the crucial advantages of adopting e-government systems in Saudi Arabia. The accessibility factor appears within the component number two in the first and fourth position (accessible from anywhere and at any time) which confirm the proposed hypothesis above.

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Challenges facing e-government


According to Al-Shehry et al. (2006), "Saudi Arabia is facing a vital risk of digital divide, not only among citizens in general but even among employees in the government territory". While (Fountain, 2003; Lam, 2005) consider the security and privacy issue as major obstacles facing e-government adaptation. Al-Fakhri (2008) studied the issues and challenges facing e-government implementation in Saudi Arabia and found issues that included lack of knowledge and training in using new technology, including government employees and this result was supported by (Moon,2002, DeBenedictis et al,2002 and Heeks,2003). Therefore, the following hypotheses are proposed: The human resource consider as a significant challenge facing the implementation of e-government system in Saudi Arabia. The digital divide is one of the major obstacles facing e-government in Saudi Arabia.

The security and privacy issues are considered as the critical challenge
facing the e-government adaptation among Saudi citizens. Factorial analysis was conducted throughout question number thirteen to categorise the constrains factors and appraise the above hypotheses and found the most significant challenges facing e-government implementation in Saudi Arabia.
KMO and Bartlett's Test Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy. Bartlett's Test of Sphericity Approx. Chi-Square df Sig. .883 5629.545 120 .000

The table above shows that KMO of sampling adequacy equal 0.883. The rotation component matrix categorise the challenges factors facing e-government program in Saudi Arabia into four components. Component one which related to the digital divides constrain and embrace the following obstacles, not everyone can afford a computer, not everyone has Internet connection and not everyone has computer skills.

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Moreover, Component two which deals with Guardianship issues and includes factors of security, privacy and trust. Furthermore, component three which is human resource and comprise lack of knowledge, skills and computer literacy among the users at general. However, fear of technology was the fourth component of the component matrix and includes resistance to change and fear of using the new phenomena.
Rotated Component Matrix Component 1 Q13o Q13n Q13p Q13m Q13k Q13b Q13a Q13c Q13e Q13f Q13d Q13l Q13i Q13h Q13j Q13g Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a. Rotation converged in 6 iterations. Table 5.10 challenge facing the e-government by Factor extraction .518 .809 .733 .733 .794 .745 .567 .566 .797 .730 .527 .869 .855 .716 .501 2 3 4
a

Component Transformation Matrix Component 1 2


dimension0

1 .605 -.737 .168 -.249

2 .454 .601 .601 -.269

3 .472 .302 -.782 -.274

4 .452 .068 -.012 .889

3 4

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.

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Descriptive Statistics Mean Q13a Q13b Q13c Q13d Q13e Q13f Q13g Q13h Q13i Q13j Q13k Q13l Q13m Q13n Q13o 2.87 2.69 2.89 2.65 2.36 2.39 2.52 3.01 2.80 3.03 2.40 2.04 2.80 2.58 2.44 Std. Deviation 1.126 1.185 1.244 1.185 1.127 1.117 1.238 1.269 1.248 1.338 1.253 1.093 1.125 1.278 1.288 Analysis N 820 820 820 820 820 820 820 820 820 820 820 820 820 820 820

Q13p 2.27 1.086 820 Table 5.11 challenge facing the e-government by descriptive method

By comparing the challenge factors using descriptive statistics and mean value, we reveals the most influence challenge facing e-government program in Saudi Arabia as follow: 1) Lack of media guidance and awareness. 2) Digital divide constrains. 3) Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among government employees. 4) Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among the citizens. 5) Inadequate infrastructure.

Although, these results support the first and second hypotheses by ranking the proposed constrains in second, third and fourth position of most influence limitation of the new innovation, the third hypothesis is rejected with low percentage of the respondents highlighted the security and privacy issue as a critical challenge facing the adaptation of e-government in Saudi Arabia. The majority of the Saudi population are young as we perceive in the literature and the youth are more flexible to deal with security and privacy issues than the old people. 68

In this research nine hypotheses were proposed in order to assess the awareness of egovernment among Saudi citizens. The first three hypotheses were to examine the impact of demographic variables to adapt e-government program. Then, identify the adaptation of the current stage (publishing and Interacting phase). Next, the hypothesis tries to reveal the intention of the citizens to use the service in the future during (transacting and transformation phases).finally; the hypotheses discovered the benefits and the challenges facing the adaptation of e-government system in Saudi Arabia.

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Chapter six
Conclusions
This research study has been conducted to explore the awareness of e-government program among Saudi citizens. Accordingly, objectives were considered to achieve this main aim. The first objective was to discover who are utilizing e-government services in Saudi Arabia, which was met completely in this survey, by revealing that highly educated youth males with a high income are most likely to utilize the e-government services in Saudi Arabia. The second objective was to estimate the perception of Saudi citizens regarding the adoption of the e-government system. The research found that the perception of adoption of e-government system in Saudi Arabia is modest at most with 61.5% of the respondents who had never used the Saudi government portal before. However, 72% of the participants were familiar with the concept. The third objective was to examine how or to what extent Saudi citizens were utilizing the service. This objective was met by highlighting that only 25.8% of the total participants were exploiting the publishing stage by facilitating the government websites and almost the same percentage made use of the interacting services of the government agencies by downloading and printing the official forms from their websites. On the other hand, the intention of Saudi citizens to contribute in the transaction stage and the transformation phase in the future was exceedingly optimistic. Indeed, resistance to change could be overcomes with perceive relative advantages of the new system. The benefits of e-government systems were listed from the literature in order to prioritise these expediencies according to Saudi citizens' opinion to meet the fourth objective. This survey was revealed that the first component of e-government opportunities are related to government department which embrace checking corruption in the government transactions, enhancing the accuracy of the transactions, faster response from the government employees,eliminating Intercession and nepotism and improving the quality of the government performance were the most noteworthy opportunities of implementing e-government in Saudi Arabia. 71

However, the second component is citizens benefits and include saving time, accessing the services from anywhere, offering the chance for disabled people to access with government services online, 24/7 online access and reducing costs. Indeed, accessibility, saving time and cost were the most influence opportunities of implementing e-government program in Saudi Arabia.

Conversely, the fifth objective was to present the potential obstacles that may face those who would benefit from this system and the intimidating, negative factors that will have an impact on the acceptance of the e-government system in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the challenges factors of adopting e-government system in Saudi Arabia were categorised from the literature and listed in the survey to discover Saudi citizens' point of view. This survey discovered that digital divide constraints and was the first component of the limitations facing e-government adoption in Saudi Arabia. The second component was the protection issues which include the privacy and security aspects. Human resource was the third component which includes the lack of knowledge and skills of the users. The fourth component is the fear of technology factors which include resistance to change and fear of the new innovation. Indeed, the lack of the media gaudiness, digital divide and the lack of the user knowledge and skills were the most impact challenges facing the implementation of e-government program in Saudi Arabia.

The findings of this research demonstrate that one of the crucial limitations of egovernment adoption in Saudi Arabia is the lack of awareness and guidance throughout the media to spread the perception of this new phenomenon among the citizens. Hence, there should be a sustained effort in this field by advertising the advantages of using e-government system in newspapers, TV, radio, Internet sites and in the government departments to encourage the citizens to utilize the service. Furthermore, the results revealed insufficient training and knowledge about the innovation among government employees and the citizens, which needs greater focus on human resource issues by conducting additional courses, classes, seminars and workshops to enhance the skills and stimulate the human resources to accept the new service.

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Moreover, the digital divide remains as a major challenge facing the implementation of e-government in Saudi Arabia and this constraint requires extra effort and planning by the government to connect the country with a dependable wireless network. Also, there is a need to ensure that computers (hardware and software) are affordable by the citizens. In addition, the government should attempt to bridge the literacy gap across society. Another challenge facing the adoption of e-government in Saudi Arabia is different legitimacy rules that need to apply throughout online transactions, rather than traditional transactions and that would suit Saudi society and culture at the same time. Finally, there should be a planned strategy to improve the current infrastructure and develop this into one that is modern with the latest technology. The government is advised to involve their employees and the citizens in the implementation process at the early stages for greater awareness and acceptance for the change.

Future research is needed, as this innovation is a new concept in Saudi Arabia, and the scope for research areas is wide. The factor of citizens' awareness needs to be studied in greater depth by undertaking a case study, or qualitative methodology could be adopted to study the perception of citizens to e-government in greater depth than was possible in this study. Another field for further research would be the awareness of e-government by government employees. This study has revealed that the factors of culture and traditions, particularly for countries like Saudi Arabia, have a strong influence on intentions to adopt new technology, such as e-government, and therefore needs further research. Additionally, there is potential for further research into the digital divide and its impact on the implementation of e-government in Saudi Arabia. Another suggestion for further research is to consider the security and privacy issues among the users. The Saudi government is working in the transaction and publishing stage, which would be supported well by further research in this area by concentrating on G2B (government to business phase) and G2G (government to government phase) to contribute to the implementation progress.

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Appendices

A Questionnaire on The awareness of the e-government system among Saudi citizens


Dear Sir/Madam I am a postgraduate student of information system management in the University of Sheffield, UK, conducting a survey on the awareness of the egovernment system among Saudi citizens. I would be grateful if you could help me by completing this survey. Please note that this research is purely for academic purposes. Your responses are also confidential as no information that identifies you is asked in this questionnaire. I would like to let you know that your participation in this
survey is completely voluntary.

This questionnaire takes less than 10 minutes to complete!

Kind Regards! Mohammed Al-Saif

E-GOVERNMENT: "Is a modern system was adopted and applied in developed countries and some developing countries, governments are seeking through this system to convert the form of government transactions from traditional to electronic trade, which aims to facilitate services to the public in the shortest possible time and with high quality"

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Part 1: Personal Profile


A) Gender Male Female

B) Age Under 18, 18 to 25 26 to 35 36 to 50 Over 50

C) Education Level Pre secondary Secondary University Postgraduate

Others, please specify it ..

D) Monthly Income 2,000 SR or less more 2,001-5,000 SR 5,001-10,000 SR 15,001 SR or

10,001-15,000 SR

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Part 2: the perception of Saudi citizens regarding the adoption of the e-government
system.

1) Have you heard of the e-government concept before?


Yes No

2) Do you have access to e-government website? (www.saudi.gov.sa/)

Yes

Sometimes

Never

3) Do you use the government websites for obtaining general information e.g., opening hours or contact number before you decide to visit them?

Yes

Sometimes

No

4) Do you use the government sites to download official forms?


Yes Sometimes No

5) Do you intend to use the Interactive services (perform a complete transaction online) in the future?
Yes I dont know No

6) Would you prefer that Saudi government integrate all your personal information at different agencies into one central database?(e.g. your information will be shared between different organizations).

Yes

I dont know

No

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7) Do you think that the e-government program will lead to an increase in the Unemployment problem in the future?
I dont know

Yes

No

Part 3:
Please read each statement carefully, and check () the response that best expresses your perception about e-government advantages as explained in the following statements. Please, if you do not know, you should check "neutral". Strongly disagree: if you strongly disagree that the statement is considered an Opportunity of e-government. Disagree: if you disagree that the statement is considered an Opportunity of egovernment. Neutral: if you don't agree or disagree about that the statement. Agree: if you agree that the statement is considered an Opportunity of egovernment. Strongly agree: if you strongly agree that the statement is considered an Opportunity of e-government. Opportunity Strongly agree
Increasing transparency and accountability of government

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Saving time (you do not have to queue) Saving cost (you do not have to travel to the government agency)
Improving efficiency in government departments operations

Streamlining the government transactions processes 84

Faster response from the government employees. Reducing corruption in the government transactions. Offering the chance for women to access government services online. Offering the chance for disabled people to access government services online. To remove bureaucracy. 24/7 online access. Accessing government services from anywhere. Improving the quality of the government performance. Enhancing the accuracy of the transactions. Eliminating intercession and nepotism.

Part 4:
Please read each statement carefully, and check () the response that best expresses your perception about e-government obstacles as explained in the following statements. Please, if you do not know you should check "neutral". Strongly disagree: if you strongly disagree that the statement is considered an obstacle of e-government. Disagree: if you disagree that the statement is considered an obstacle of egovernment. Neutral: if you don't agree or disagree about that the statement. Agree: if you agree that the statement is considered an obstacle of e-government. Strongly agree: if you strongly agree that the statement is considered an obstacle of e-government.

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challenge factors

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Lack of Privacy. Lack of Security Lack of Trust in the Internet network. Lack of Trust in government employees. Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among government employees. Lack of necessary skills and knowledge about the technology among the citizens. Different legitimacy rules needed through the online transactions rather than traditional transactions Fear of technology Resistance to change Cost of the Internet access Inadequate infrastructure (Internet network, hardware or software). Lack of media guidance. The user interface of government website is not easy to explore. Not everyone can afford a computer Not everyone has Internet connection. Not everyone has computer skills.

Thanks for your participation.

Word count (16,290) 86