Citizens Expectations and Disappointments in Information Society

AUTHOR

Doinita Ariton, Florina Paun, Viorca Ioan, Mihaela Nicolau, Nicoleta Barbuta, Liliana Moga, Florin Buhociu, Carmen Tofan

ABSTRACT

This paper is based on our research work as members of Romanian team of SIBIS project (Statistical Indicators Benchmarking the Information Society) funded by the European Commission under the “Information Society Technology” Programme. SIBIS project offers us actual data (2002), covering EU15 countries, NAS10 countries, Switzerland and USA. SIBIS developed a methodology and indicator/index development project for the definition and piloting of statistical indicators that will be used for measuring and benchmarking a full range of aspects of the development of the Information Society. The objective of this project is to offer a support of development of policy in ICT area based on a good understanding of the different aspects of existing situation.

First of all we shell introduce Romania using the indicators which are quantifying the factors with influence in Information Society stadium. There are economic indicators (GDP per capita, unemployment), indicators related ITC domain (basic access and usage, digital divide index) and social indicators (population and composition, education level, income, corruption) etc.

Than, we shell present the stadium of Information Society in Romania in comparison with other European countries and EU average. This analysis, based on SIBIS topics, permit us to include five relevant fields in the paper structure:

  • eCommerce;
  • eHealth;
  • eGovernment;
  • eWork;
  • development of Romanian Infrastructure for Information Society.

We are looking for the reasons of the differences between the real situation and the citizens’ expectations for each domain. The SIBIS questionnaire allow us to identify, case to case, the citizens’ expectation regarding Information society and the influence factors for their participation to Information Society progress.

eCommerce

The electronic revolution in commerce is affecting the performance of the economies as whole and, in the same time is having effects on the comportment of individuals as customers.

Regarding this topic we shell present the attitude, the factor with influence in the behavior and the tendencies of the Romanian consumer of eCommerce services, which is a nowadays reality in Romania. This analysis is based on indicators like eCommerce across age groups, usage and experience, Structure of online interactive user or online security concerns.

eHealth

Nowadays the information society has a big implication into the health field and is quite hard to prove that this is not a reality.

In our study we shell try to present the citizens’ motivations in searching for health-related information on-line and their expectations and disappointments in finding suitable health-related information on the Internet, sufficiency of mother tongues web sites for finding health-related information suitable for needs etc.

eGovernment

Citizens make use of government services through their lives. It is the right moment for major changes in Romanian Governmental Systems in to improve the relationships between Administration and public services users. The Romanian citizens expect this, as the research concludes. Romanians’ preferred way of interacting with Government services is Internet.

In Romania usage of eGovernment services is low. Therefore, we shell analyze the appointment of citizen’s expectations with the reality of eGovernment and we shell try to found the motivation for the situation in fact and the possible solutions.

eWork

For the eWork part, we shell analyze the access to different information, services and vacancy jobs using information communication and technology in comparison with other European country data.

Also, we shell present the citizens’ interest in eWork and the effective utilization, using indicators like Discretion and over starting and finishing times at work, Interest in telework comparing with Total teleworkers and Unployment.

Development of Romanian Infrastructure for Information Society

The possibility to adopt Informational Society specific facilities may depend on numerous factors. Implementation of widely – available broadband infrastructure is seen as vital. The faster broadband becomes widespread, the sooner we’ll enjoy its benefits, as it enables the realization of a new generation of applications and services.

For the Romanian citizens, accessibility and costs of the technology (PCs and Internet costs) are very important issues.

We shell present the correlation between population expectation regarding the implementation of a widely – available broadband infrastructure with a price according the Romanian citizens’ purchase power and the real possibilities in this domain.

The paper concludes with a discussion on each topic about the success or failure Romanian specific factors, including the social ones and their role in Information Society issues.

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