User-Centric Evaluation of Government of Kenya Online Services: The Case of iTax

Citation:
Owigar JA, Omwenga EI. "User-Centric Evaluation of Government of Kenya Online Services: The Case of iTax." International Journal of Computer Applications. 2016;148(8). copy at http://profiles.uonbi.ac.ke/eomwenga/publications/user-centric-evaluation-government-kenya-online-services-case-itax

Abstract:

In recent years, the Kenyan government has worked to use Information and communication technologies (ICTs) to increase openness and transparency in their operations. These ICTs are seen as a cost-effective and convenient means to promote public participation in government in Kenya. While many of these efforts have had a government centered approach, the users perspective has been largely ignored. This research takes a user centered approach and looks at how user’s perspectives and attitudes affect adoption of e-government services. The iTax online service was selected as a case study for this research. The research framework is based on technology acceptance models focusing on the aspects of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use by the users. This view is especially important in developing countries that are still grappling with issues of connectivity and basic infrastructure while developing e-governance initiatives. The data was collected using questionnaires (both paper and online), in depth interviews and a usability study focusing on the primary task of registering on the iTax government service. Findings indicate that the main pain point for both the government and the users is the speed of connectivity. While user/citizens generally think that provision of e-government services is a good idea, there is dissatisfaction with the complexity of the said egovernment service. Findings also show that issues of access in developing countries need to be viewed beyond infrastructure but also on service level. Service level access looks at the extent to which the service is usable to the targeted user. Service level access goes hand in hand with training since some users do have access to the infrastructure but lack the know how to effectively utilize the service. This research concludes that to increase the adoption of e-government services governments need to focus their strategies on the needs of users, their attitudes towards to the services and respond to these needs effectively.

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