Strategies for Developing Information Societies: The Case of Romania.
development of information society is definitely the most important challenge
that Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries must face in the near
future. Concepts like good
governance, IT-enabled development strategy and public sector
information (PSI) have increasingly become interdependent
and hence, critically relevant, especially in the economic and socio-political
context featuring the developing efforts of the CEE countries. In political
terms, PSI is now credited with enhancing the democratization process, increasing political accountability, and improving the tattered
government-citizen relationship. In economic terms, PSI is associated
with combating corruption, creating a transparent and competitive economic
environment, and speeding up standard administrative processes for citizens
and business. In the social field, PSI is assumed to help restore
public trust, rebuild social capital, and increase the transparency,
quality and efficiency of public services. In short, PSI is generally
expected to become the future engine for political and economic development as
well as the critical ingredient for any good governance practice. However,
weak institutional, legal and technological infrastructure, dearth
of financial and human resources, bureaucratic resistance to change, as well
as lack of leadership and strategic thinking constitute the main obstacles
against the effective implementation of PSI in the CEE region.
By taking Romania as a
case study, the objectives of the research project are the following:
the positions and action strategies of governmental bodies, EU
institutions, and relevant civic interest groups with respect to the
development of the Romanian PSI, ICT and e-governance
the degree of public access to information from Romanian state
the medium-term implications of these strategies for the perspectives of
the Romanian economic and political development;
recommendations for PSI regulations;
a policy paper on program strategies in the field of PSI policy.
focused on the Romanian PSI sector, the policy paper is intended to
serve more broadly as background material for policy recommendations to other
countries from the region, as well as to those civic society groups which,
given their poor financial and expertise resources, possess few instruments to
secure exclusively by themselves better access to governmental information and
official channels of communication. The paper concludes with a triple set of
policy recommendations (with
regard to the institutional framework, the policy context, and the ICT
for implementing a three-stage reformist agenda of e-governance based on two
pillars: robust development of public sector information and large-scale
application of Information and Communication Technologies.
Copyright © 2001 Corneliu Bjola. All rights reserved.
Revised: October 13, 2002.
for Policy Studies (IPF)
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