The role of digital literacy in citizens' adoption of digital public services: The Portuguese case

Ana Maria Evans, Rosário Garcia Gomes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal of this work is to analyze the role of digital literacy in citizens' adoption of electronic public services. The study is driven by the following puzzle: notwithstanding intense policy efforts over the past two decades to secure universal supply of information technologies (IT) at the school level, as well as universal broadband coverage at low cost for households, current statistics reveal striking disparities in the use of digital public services in Portugal. As noticed by existing studies, inequalities in access or use of online public services have negative social consequences, namely the exclusion of parts of the population from key opportunities for self- and collective- development. It is therefore important to understand the factors that affect citizen engagement in online exchange of information with public authorities. Existing research suggests that education and age are determinant factors of individual online engagement. However, aggregate scores tells us very little about what can be done to correct imbalances and steer digital inclusion. Thus, our study will examine levels of internet interaction between citizens and public authorities looking at sub-categories in age and education cohorts, in order to establish a set of preliminary hypotheses on the factors that influence disparities in individual engagement in digital public services. The findings will contribute to expand knowledge on how to adequately align policy towards effective interaction between private users and public providers, which will be critical for improving governance and reducing inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 17th European Conference on Digital Government, ECDG 2017
PublisherAcademic Conferences Limited
Pages71-78
Number of pages8
VolumePart F129463
ISBN (Electronic)9781911218388
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event17th European Conference on Digital Government, ECDG 2017 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 12 Jun 201713 Jun 2017

Conference

Conference17th European Conference on Digital Government, ECDG 2017
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period12/06/1713/06/17

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • Digital exclusion
  • Digital literacy
  • E-government
  • Inequalities

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  • Cite this

    Evans, A. M., & Gomes, R. G. (2017). The role of digital literacy in citizens' adoption of digital public services: The Portuguese case. In Proceedings of 17th European Conference on Digital Government, ECDG 2017 (Vol. Part F129463, pp. 71-78). Academic Conferences Limited.