Assessing the drivers of the regional digital divide and their impact on eGovernment services: evidence from a South American country

Mónica Pazmiño-Sarango, Mijail Naranjo-Zolotov, Frederico Cruz-Jesus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The paper explores the main drivers of the regional-level digital divide in Ecuadorian cities and the extent to which the information and communication technology (ICT) adoption by citizens influences local-level policymakers' decisions to develop eGovernment services. Design/methodology/approach: The paper used an exploratory approach. The authors empirically assessed the provision of eGovernment services in each of the 36 Ecuadorian local governments following the Local Online Service Index (LOSI) measurement scale proposed by the United Nations, and then evaluated the drivers of the eGovernment divide at a local level. Ordinary least squares regression analysis was used. Findings: The findings indicate that the digital divide is driven by income and education disparities, and that eGovernment availability is driven by ICT use. It appears that proper attention to technology use by its citizens is not being given by local-level policymakers in Ecuador when they devise their eGovernment strategy. Research limitations/implications: Because the data were available at different levels of aggregation, there may be some inaccuracy of the indicators and lack of generalizability. Researchers are encouraged to test this hypotheses with data at lower levels of aggregation and from different latitudes to provide a comparative view between countries. Practical implications: The paper includes implications for policymakers and local authorities regarding how the limitations on eGovernment development may be mitigated. Originality/value: This study fulfils the need to assess digital development and its impact on eGovernment services at a city level in a developing country.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalInformation Technology and People
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • e-government
  • Latin-America
  • LOSI scale
  • Municipalities

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