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MAPP503 - Digital Government

Course Details

Course Code: MAPP503 Course ID: 4678 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course offers an in-depth panorama of the strategies used to design, implement and evaluate effective policies, government information and democratic procedures and practices as they are publicized online in a digital world. We examine the merits of recent initiatives in e-government and e-governance from the perspective of policy administrators and elected officials as well as the increasing array of ways that citizens and civil society groups and organizations can use, and interact with online government information and services. We also look at the problems that many government agencies encounter in their attempts to provide information and services digitally plus what challenges and opportunities may be in store for the e-governance strategies of the future. The course covers issues surrounding democratic accountability and transparency, security and privacy, citizen e-participation, e-performance reporting and public relations in online government communications. It pays special attention to giving students the opportunity to develop practical skills in how to design and develop effective, specific and comprehensive e-government strategies at the local or state level.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session
09/28/20 - 02/26/21 03/01/21 - 04/25/21 Winter 2021 Session D 8 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to meet the following learning objectives:

  1. Distinguish between E-Government and E-Governance and understand the potential and actual roles they play in enhancing policy implementation, evaluation and change in today’s digital democracies.
  2. Assess a range of digital approaches and purposes as they apply to international, national, state and local governments and their implementation of policy.
  3. Critically evaluate the challenges, obstacles and opportunities of e-government in the delivery of services, engagement of citizens and completion of daily business activities of governmental service providers.
  4. Examine the importance of the issues of privacy, security, trust and collaboration as they apply to digital government.
  5. Categorize the skills required of public administrators and policy professionals to use and evaluate different digital approaches.
  6. Critique best practice approaches of the field.
  7. Develop strategies for digital processes specifically designed for more effective policy and public service implementation; taking into account the purpose or intent, audience, resources needed and methods of evaluating effectiveness post implementation.
  8. Consolidate and improve professional policy writing and critical skills and participate actively in creating a collegial, feedback-oriented learning community in the area of public policy.

Self Introduction: The first forum includes a self-introduction, which should include your name, where you are located (country, state, or city), what your current job title is, where you received your undergraduate degree and in what field, any information you care to share about your family and hobbies. You should also include details about your chosen area of policy specialization as well as a well-considered breakdown of what you hope to get out of this course.

This introduction needs to be at least 250 words and posted by 11:55 PM (EST) Sunday during the first week of the class. Important: type your forum into the comments box. Do not attach your posting to the forum as any type of document as the system does not recognize this as a post. Failure to complete this forum by the end of the first week of class will result in you being dropped from the course.

Forum Questions:

For most forum discussions you will be analyzing concepts raised in the text, related readings, or current events. Each of these will ensure that you have understood and approached key groundwork concepts, ideas or procedures that will be necessary for you to write your assignments. For the remaining three forums you will be reviewing and providing constructive feedback on work submitted by your classmates, as well as receiving feedback on your own work. Required forum articles for you to review are linked to in the description of each forum as well as listed in the course outline below (with links). Many other useful resources are available via the Online Research Center or APUS Library. Make use of scholarly peer-reviewed articles in the APUS Library where you can, in addition to required and supplementary readings in the Resources section of this course, plus any links or videos/podcasts in the relevant lessons. Postings and replies should be free of any spelling or grammar errors and properly cited in APA style.

Questions and topics posed in the Forums are designed to promote thought and insight. Students must provide a critical review of the questions, topics and issues posed and substantively reply to the contributions of at least three peers. Individual postings should include a full discussion of the content of the question posed and explain how it relates to the concepts in the weekly text readings and other resources. The postings should be analytic in nature and include comparisons/contrasts, and examples that can bolster your point. The Forum is for your benefit and it is important to respond to the discussion topic and to engage others in a running dialogue.

Your initial post should be made by Thursday this week. You should then respond to 3 or more posts. Note that at least one response to your classmates must be made before Sunday. If you make all of your responsive posts on Sunday, you will not earn full points for timeliness.

This can be accomplished by

· Validating with additional evidence from the literature.

· Posing a thoughtful question with commentary which generates further discussion.

· Providing an alternative point-of-view, with evidence and examples.

· Offering additional insight into how the concept might be understood, with evidence provided with real world examples.

You should be active in the classroom throughout the week and actively engaged in the back-and-forth discussion between your colleagues and the professor.

The forum grading rubric can be found in gradebook by clicking on the forum entry.

Assignments: Please see the assignment tab for specific directions and deadlines for the assignments.

Final Project: The final project asks you to combine revised versions of the plans you created in Weeks 2 (public relations) and 4 (accountability and reporting) and to add to this a third plan to create a comprehensive digital strategy. In this comprehensive strategy, you are constructing an e-government/e-governance plan of 3-4 digital approaches your government should take to move into the digital era and take advantage of digital government approaches to enhance the effectiveness of policy implementation. Once you have built your strategy, you will present this and your analysis of each to your class audience as if you were presenting to your government’s decision-making body. You are seeking their approval and support for the implementation of these tools. In your presentation, you should discuss the overarching goals of the government, the digital tools you are recommending that the government implement and your analysis for each. In your analysis, be sure to address persuasively why you are seeking to build a digital government platform, what you hope to accomplish, who your primary and secondary audiences are, what obstacles and challenges will need to be overcome, how security and privacy will be protected, what resources will be needed for successful implementation, and how the digital tools will be evaluated in order to determine effectiveness.

Your project should be structured as an animated PowerPoint and delivered using an available software option (see Assignment section of this course for details).

Remember that this is a major research component of your course (20% of your final grade). Your presentation must be no less than 10 minutes or more than 20 minutes long.

NameGrade %
Forums 30.00 %
Forum 1.1 3.33 %
Forum 1.2 3.33 %
Forum 2 3.33 %
Forum 3.1 3.33 %
Forum 4 3.33 %
Forum 5.1 3.33 %
Forum 6 3.33 %
Forum 7 3.33 %
Forum 8.1 3.33 %
Assignments 50.00 %
Assignment (wk2): Public Relations Plan 16.67 %
Assignment (Wk 5) Citizen Participation and e-Democracy 16.67 %
Assignment (wk4): Accountability & Reporting Plan 16.67 %
Final Project 20.00 %
Final Project (wk 7) 20.00 %

In addition, this course will use web-based open access resources as well as peer-reviewed articles in the APUS Library as required course materials. The citations and/or links for these materials are located below. They will eventually appear in the lessons as well but that is currently underway and may not be completed by the start of class.

WEB SITES: The lessons will provide links to websites and videos to watch; as well as webinars to review.

ARTICLES: You can access the articles directly from links in the lessons (once they are up and running) or by copying the title and pasting it in the search box in the Article Database in the APUS library. The articles are all available in full text.

MAPP 503: Weekly Required Reading and Supplementary Resources

Week 1

Required Reading/Viewing: Introduction to Digital Government: E-Government vs. E-Governance

Georgescu, M. (2012) “Egovernment: New Perspectives on the Future of Government Digitisation.” Annales

Universitatis Apulensis: Series Oeconomica, 14(2), 369-384.

Shirky, C. (2012) TEDGlobal Talk. “How the Internet will (one day) transform government.” (Watch as part of

lesson.) (2008) “E-Governance: Conceptual Framework.” In Promoting e-Governance: The SMART Way

Forward. Report 11 of the Second Administrative Reports Commission. New Delhi.

OECD. (2016) Recommendation on Digital Government Strategies.


Online Services at

U.S. Department of State. (n.d.) “E-Government.”

White House. (n.d.) “Office of E-Government and Information Technology.” Office of Management and


Week 2: Public Relations, Social Media and Digital Communication

Required Reading/Viewing:

Page: 5 of 10 Date: 5/8/2017 12:19:27 PM

Graham, M, & Johnson A. (2013) “Government Public Relations and Social Media: An Analysis of the

Perceptions and Trends of Social Media Use at the Local Government Level.” Public Relations Journal 7(4),


Ghonim. W. (2015) “Let’s Design Social Media that Drives Real Change.” TEDGlobal. (Watch as part of



Armano, D. (2010) TEDx Talks. “Reinventing Social Media.”

Franco, M., Tursybayeva, A., & Paglari C. (2016). JMIR Research Protocols 5(1): e42. “Social Media for e-

Government in the Public Health Sector: Protocol for a Systematic Review.”

Magro, M. (2012) A Review of Social Media Use in E-Government. Administrative Sciences 2, 148-161.

Pariser, E. (2011) “Beware Online Filter Bubbles.” TED Talk.

Shirky, C. (2012) TEDGlobal Talk. “How the Internet will (one day) transform government.”

Worland, J. (2016) “What to Know about the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests.” Time. October 28.

Zibart, M. (2016) “How to Escape your News Bubble.” January 21.


Week 3: Fiscal Transparency and Accountability

Required Reading/Viewing:

U.S. PIRG Education Fund. (2013) “Webinar for State Officials on Spending Transparency.”

Bernstein, J. (2016) “E-Reporting: Useful Tool or Expanding Big Brother.” Enhesa World Compliance

Intelligence. September.

Advanced Processing and Imaging, Inc. (2016) “Fiscal Transparency: City of Ft. Pierce.”

Bertot, J.C., Jaeger, P.T., & Grimes, J.M. (2010) “Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: Egovernment

and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies.” Government Information

Quarterly 27(2), 264-271.

Noveck, B. (2012) TEDGlobal. “Demand a more open-source government.” (2016) “”


Shueh, J. (2015) “Ohio Offers Financial Transparency Statewide.” Government Technology. April 22.

Week 4: E-Performance Reporting

Required Reading/Viewing:

Page: 6 of 10 Date: 5/8/2017 12:19:27 PM

Muhlhausen, D. (2016) “Evidence-Based Fiscal Discipline: The Case for PART 2.0.” The Heritage

Foundation. Backgrounder #3158 on Budget and Spending. October 27.

20#_ftnref98 (n.d.) Driving Federal Performance. (Explore to complete

forum 4)

Ewoh, E.G. (2011) “Performance Measurement in an Era of New Public Management.” Journal of Emerging

Knowledge on Emerging Markets 3(November), 105-117.

PEW Charitable Trust. (2014) “Evidence-Based Policymaking: A Guide for Effective Government.”

November 13.

Strategisys. (2016) “OMB’s Program Assessment Rating Tool – PART.”

United Nations. (2010) “Chapter 6: Measuring E-Government.” In United Nations E-Government Survey

2010. 93-97.


Week 5: Citizen Participation and Democracy

Required Reading/Viewing:

Van Der Meer, T., Gelders, D., & Rottier, S. (2014) “E-Democracy: Exploring the Current Stage of Egovernment.”

Journal of Information Policy, 4, 489-506.

Brun, J. (2012) “Time to Upgrade our Democracy.” TEDx Talk.


Brake, D. (2015) “Open North's Citizen Budget Simulator Boosts Pioneering Citizen Engagement Project.”

Open North. October 13.

citizen-engagement-project.html (2016) “Seattle Participatory Budgeting.” Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Van der Meers, T., Gelders, D., & Rotthier, S. (2014) “E-Democracy: Exploring the Current Stage of EGovernment.”

Journal of Information Policy 4, 489-506.

Week 6: Security, Trust and Collaboration

Required Reading/Viewing:

White House. (2012) Federal Information Technology Shared Strategies. May 2. (15 pages, review to

complete forum 6)

Snowden, E. (2014) “Edward Snowden: Here’s how we take back the internet. TED. (watch as part of


Ledgett, R. (2014) “Richard Ledgett: The NSA responds to Edward Snowden's TED Talk.” TED. (watch as

part of lesson)

Page: 7 of 10 Date: 5/8/2017 12:19:27 PM

Bleiberg, J., & West, D. (2015) “A look back at technical issues with” Brookings Institution.

April 9.


C-SPAN Mobile Technology Privacy, Industry, and Computer Officials

Joshi, A., & Tiwari, H. (2012). Security for E-Governance. Journal of Information and Operations

Management, 3(1), 254.

U.S. Chief Information Office (CIO).

Williams, K. (2015) “ faulted for weak cybersecurity.” The Hill. September 24.

Week 7: Best Practices

Required Reading/Viewing: (2014) “Flood ready vermont website marks an eGovernment milestone.” Politics &

Government Business, 36.


State of Vermont. (2010) Flood Ready.

U.S. Digital Service. (n.d.) Digital Services Playbook. (explore as part of


Center for Digital Government

Neff, C. (2012) “eGovernment Delivers.”

v=41SBHZBY6oc& (see also

Week 8: The Future of Digital Government

Required Reading:

Bryer, T. (2011) “Online Public Engagement in the Obama Administration: Building a Democracy Bubble?”

Policy and Internet 3(4). 1-22.

Rutter, T. (2013) “How to make a digital government fit for future challenges – roundup.” The Guardian.

November 19.


Roxana, R., Zingales, N., &�� Calandro, E. (2015) “Crowdsourcing Ideas as an Emerging Form of

Multistakeholder Participation in Internet Governance.” Policy and Internet 7(3), 362-382. Please search for

this title in the APUS Library.

SUNY-Albany. (2016) “The Future of E-Government.” Center for Technology in Government.

Sharma, R., & Panigrahi, P. K. (2015). “Developing a roadmap for planning and implementation of

interoperability capability in e-government.” Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 9(4),


Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.