As electronic government initiatives continue to gain global momentum, interest in benchmarking various aspects of e-government is expanding rapidly. Academic researchers, NGOs and private and public sector organisations have produced numerous benchmarking methodologies for measuring and evaluating e-government development locally, nationally, regionally and globally. This paper investigates the role of international benchmarking as a driver for e-government development. After reviewing 44 e-government benchmarking reports and evaluating their credibility, validity and acceptance in academic and practitioner literature, the paper systematically compares and contrasts ten short-listed established international e-government benchmarking methodologies. The comparative analysis is conducted utilizing a proposed conceptual framework which specifically assesses the context, methodology, type of benchmarking and social paradigmatic tendency of each of the reports studied. The paper argues that this framework provides public administrators with a valuable conceptual lens for understanding the value of e-government benchmarking exercises to better assess their validity and applicability as drivers for development of their e-government initiative. Based on the findings of the comparative analysis and literature review, the paper concludes that -regardless of the methodology adopted- international e-government benchmarking does play a crucial role in driving e-government development, only when the exercise is accompanied with a long-term iterative adaptation and reform mechanism.
This is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of Measuring Business Excellence, volume 11, issue 4, pp. 9-22.