Information Technology for Local Administration Support: The Governorates Project in Egypt

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Abstract

Experience with information technology (IT) implementation in the local administrations of less developed countries (LDCs) has been largely disappointing. Conventional wisdom suggests that such implementation efforts are usually inappropriate to the information-poor environments of many LDCs. This study describes the Governorates Project in Egypt, which seems to have been an encouraging exception to such wisdom. The project, which was initiated in 1987 by the Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), represented a significant administrative and technological innovation because it sought to implement an IDSC in each of the 27 governorates of Egypt. The purpose of each governorate IDSC was to provide computer-based information and decision support to the governor and other local administrators.

Based on our findings, three stages of the project are identified -- implementation, evaluation, and transformation of the innovation. Three theoretical perspectives derived from past research, i.e., functional, political/symbolic and social information processing, were used to explain the project outcomes, such as the governors’ perceptions and behaviors concerning their IDSCs. Results suggest that the symbolic/political and social information processing perspectives had considerable power in explaining the outcomes during implementation, whereas the functional perspective was particularly effective in explaining the outcomes during evaluation and transformation. The theoretical framework and findings suggest considerable potential for understanding IT implementations in both business and administrative settings.

Additional Details

Author Sarma R. Nidumolu, Seymour E. Goodman, Douglas R. Vogel, and Ann K. Danowitz
Year 1996
Volume 20
Issue 2
Keywords IS implementation, IS technology transfer, local govenrment
Page Numbers 197-224