eGovernment Class

Time: 2010-2011 Fall-Winter Semester,

Place: University of Bucharest, Faculty of Political Science,

Language: English

Status: elective

Target group: students in the IIIrd year, with good English skills and a serious interest in the subject

Resource assumptions: the course assumes that each student has access to an Internet-connected PC. If not, we will burn the material onto a CD-ROM with Web browser, or print off and copy relevant Web site documents.

Professor: Mr. Stefan Apateanu, TA

Contact Information: phone: (021) 3139007; e-mail: stefan at apateanu dot ro

Statement of Purpose

This course closely examines the much talked-about yet little understood process of e-government and introduces the main theoretical and practical perspectives which aim to explain its nature and predict its consequences. The aim of the training course is to help e-government students understand and reduce risks in their e-government projects.

The course is divided into five parts. The first part is introductory and devoted to a clarification of what we actually mean when we speak of “e-government”.

The second part of the course aims to develop a basic awareness about e-government failure. It explains that e-government failure may be a problem. This part of the course looks at the scale and nature of that problem in more detail.

Part three of the course focuses on developing an understanding of the causes of success and failure. It explains that there is no agreement about why e-government projects succeed or fail: different people give different explanations. Here, the group will look at two possible explanations for success/failure. But these explanations might not be relevant to everyone's situation. Rather than treat them as 'the truth', better to see them as starting points for thinking and planning.

Part four of the course stresses to meet the skills needs of those reflecting on implemented projects. It explains that most e-government projects are failures, and that students need to take account of this in their e-government work. With that in mind, the course now moves on to look at some practical techniques students can use if involved with projects that have already been implemented.

The last part, part five, lays emphasis to meet the skills needs of those involved in planned or in-progress projects. Explain to the students that there are no panaceas to guard against e-government failure. If there were, then failure would have been banished long ago. Instead, there are just some ideas that some people may find feasible and effective.


By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • define 'success' and 'failure' of e-government projects;
  • assess and classify e-government projects in terms of their success or failure;
  • recognize the pervasiveness and costs of e-government failure;
  • explain why some e-government projects succeed while others fail, and apply those
  • explanations to identify causes of failure in e-government projects;
  • assess the risk of failure in an e-government project, and identify the main sources of that risk;
  • produce an action plan that addresses sources of risk in an e-government project, thereby reducing the likelihood of project failure; and
  • produce a plan of key learning and action points related to e-government success and failure


  1. Attendance and participation in class discussion: 20% of the overall grade
  2. Research paper, due by e-mail (attachment in MSWord or RTF) or on paper: 35% of the overall grade - deadline: 17.01.2011
    Topic: Closer examination of one e-government policy problem of your choosing. (Students will receive further guidelines.)
  3. three short cumulative written exams on (date to be determined), worth 10%, 15%, and 20% of the overall grade, respectively

Course Rules

You are expected to come to every class meeting and to attend from beginning to end.
You are expected to complete the assigned readings before the meeting in which they will be discussed. This is very much to your own benefit, because it will help you follow the presentation and discussion and understand the material much better.
This course will take the form of lecture cum seminar and is meant to be interactive. While I will at times give short lectures to explain material, the quality of the course and what you get out of it vitally depends on your participation in class discussion. 
Reading Material

This course uses the site. All the material needed for the successful completion of this course can be accessed on this site.

Case study requirements

1. Title 
2. Case study author
3. Organization (detailes about the organization that implemented the e-gov project)
4. Application
5. Application Description
6. Application Purpose
7. Stakeholders
8. Impact: Costs and Benefits
9. Design-Reality Gap Analysis
10. Evaluation: Failure or Success?
11. Enablers / Critical Succes Factors
12. Learning: Identifying Causes of Near-Total Failure
13. Constraints / Chalanges
14. Reccomandations
15. Case Detailes
16. Further Information

Case study delivery date is due January 17 2011.

The case study should apply to websites administered by local or central administrations in ROMANIA. No other country is accepted. However, an exception is made for Erasmus / International students that can approach a case study within their country.
The ones that do not form a team, as well as the ones that do form a team to produce this case study, need to inform me about the subject PRIOR on going to write about it.
I will centralize the information you send me and I will send from time to time followups on what students still need to inform me about the subject they need to write about.
The deadline for this case study is January 17 2011. If you fail to meet this deadline you will drop 1 grade point each 24h (fractions do apply).
The case studies need to be sent on email at stefan dot apateanu at fspub. dot ro and you will receive a confirmation e-mail as soon as I see your document is readable.
The case studies should be in Word format and the name of the file should be the name of the case study. The subject of the email must be "e-gov case study". Please make sure you will meet these requirements.

2010-2011 Case study