Building eGovernment Websites


WHY do you want to set up an eGovernment website?

You may be tempted to answer "because other agencies have websites", or "because my boss asked me to do it", but these usually aren't very good reasons (or good enough) for having a website.

Your website will be more likely to be successful if you set a series of clear objectives for it. These objectives can be improved if they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Agree, Realistic and Timed.


By consulting with the relevant people in your organisation, it is likely that you will come up with more than a single objective for your website. In this case, it can help to prioritise objectives.

Assigning different priorities to your goals will help you make important decisions that affect the design and implementation of your website (e.g. gearing the design towards a particular type of audience in order to obtain the site's primary goal). This will help especially if resources are scarce: if you don't possess the necessary resources to achieve all goals, you can use what is at your disposal to obtain at least the most important ones.

For example, the prioritised goals for a public agency's website could be:

  1. to publish a specific set of information in order to reduce the number of queries from the public,
  2. to enhance the profile of the institution in order to attract donors to collaborate with it, and
  3. to enable users to carry out online transactions with the authority.

If you only possess very limited resources, you may consider dropping the third goal (online transactions) or deferring it to a later stage of the life of the website, especially because it is likely to put heavy technical requirements on the project (more than simply publishing information). If instead you had assigned top priority to online transactions, you would need to use most of your resources towards that goal, which may jeopardise your chances of achieving the other ones.

The bottom line is that it is usually better to achieve a limited number of goals efficiently than to pursue a larger number of goals and only achieve them partially.

Page Author: Andrea Bardelli Danieli. Last updated on 19 October, 2008.
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