A study was conducted by the European University of Cyprus on the exploitation of the pandemic as a factor of administrative reform, to boost e-government.
The following is a summary of the main points of the research:
“Initially the research question we chose to answer is the following: 'through what administrative reforms (e-government) can Governments help combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic?'
After a brief report on the COVID-19 pandemic we analyzed what e-government is and why it is important both for dealing with the effects of the pandemic and for the well-being of people around the globe in general.
Following our research in articles, publications, questionnaires, e-books, internet and other sources, we answered our research question by analyzing four administrative reforms (related to e-government) implemented by Governments. More specifically, the four main administrative reforms concern information exchange, digital health, online payment systems and e-participation.
Information exchange reforms are vital for governments to be able to provide accurate, useful and up-to-date information to the people, especially in these times of crisis. Also, the need to implement digital health management reforms is very high, as due to the COVID-19 pandemic the contact between people must be minimized to the absolutely necessary. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced various governments to make administrative reforms in their payment procedures. The goal of governments with these administrative reforms is to increase electronic tax filing and reduce the impact of transmitting the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, countries have embarked on administrative reforms to actively support vulnerable groups in society through digital donation campaigns and voluntary platforms.
THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
We will start this work with some facts about the COVID-19 pandemic. This disease is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Corona and most people with COVID-19 will have mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment. The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets that are created when an infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and quickly fall to floors or surfaces, so infection is caused by inhaling the virus if people are near someone who has COVID-19 or if they touch an infected surface and then the eyes. your nose or mouth.
This pandemic has changed the way people perceive the value of everyday life and has undoubtedly led to many important changes in our daily lives.
In this different era, then, a knowledge-based society based on information technology must be promoted. E-government refers to an integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in all businesses to increase the ability of government to meet the needs of the local public. E-government is notable for minimizing corruption, enhancing transparency, increasing convenience, increasing gross domestic product, providing a way for citizens to participate directly in their country, reducing overall costs and enhancing the prosperity of a community. Through an effective e-government system, the government increases the quantity and quality of information and services provided to the local public using e-government in a simple, economical and productive way. Older e-government models have confirmed that e-government can drive economic growth. The key is that there is a difference between how developing and developed countries establish e-government. E-government has had a significant positive impact on the success and development of underdeveloped countries.
SELECTION OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Based on the above data, we see that e-government in Governments is now an urgent need through administrative reform to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, the subject of our research will be e-government in Governments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The research methods that we will use to carry out the project are the analysis of research results, interviews and quantitative and qualitative data.
The choice of a good research problem is based on our personal scientific interest because this way we will keep the research interest undiminished at all stages of the research process. Following the above formulation, the research problem that we will examine is “Through what administrative reforms (e-government) can Governments contribute to combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic”. We consider this particular research problem to be of great interest, there is ample data available on it and it is also not commonplace nor does it conflict with codes of ethics and ethics.
EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION
The first administrative reform we will study is the exchange of information between governments and how it has helped combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is vital for governments to provide accurate, useful and up-to-date information to the people, especially in times of crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments began providing information about national portals, mobile applications, or social media platforms. Initiatives to exchange information on different channels are grouped into three main subheadings:
i) provision of information,
(ii) monitoring and
iii) creation of a special COVID-19 portal
Cases of information exchange include many other websites, chatbots and social media activities. At the same time, with the rise of online information sharing, there has also been a wave of fake news and misinformation, which has exacerbated societal concerns. This created the need for major administrative reforms by the Governments as people began to panic and act spasmodically. Thus, some governments have launched campaigns to combat online misinformation COVID-19. For example, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has set up a messaging service to combat fake news. Other governments have also launched online campaigns against this threat. Similarly, the United Nations has launched an initiative called “Verified” to encourage people to scrutinize the advice people share about COVID-19.
Also, all Governments have used chatbots to provide valid content that reduces anxiety and provides useful fact-based information and advice on front-line and key employees.
The administrative reforms regarding monitoring were that governments implemented gateways to monitor the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. These systems include a map view supported by a built-in database. Many portals had different data sources produced by many different Government agencies. It is important to monitor the spread and impact of the pandemic and suggest the necessary precautions. The data include statistics on the number of positive cases, recoveries and deaths. There is no downside to this reform. On the contrary, these administrative reforms must be pursued more intensively, because it is inadmissible for citizens to fall victim to misinformation, especially in times of pandemic.
The last point concerns the e-government reform in the creation of exclusive COVID-19 portals to gather important information about the pandemic. These special portals are designed to provide timely and accurate official information on all measures and activities undertaken by government agencies. In addition to sharing information, these portals include links to statistics as well as links to new COVID-19 applications. This administrative reform will combat misinformation and panic among citizens. All the information needed by the citizens will be provided in a timely and correct manner at no financial cost.
The second administrative reform that we will study concerns the changes that have been made or should be made in the field of digital health.
Digital health includes digital care programs and is the convergence of digital technologies related to health, healthcare, living and society to improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery and make medicine more personalized and expensive. The need to implement digital health is very high, as due to the COVID-19 pandemic the contact between people must be minimized to the absolutely necessary.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the application of digital health was aimed at reducing the risk or preventing transmission to medical providers. The technological applications that will be analyzed below have the potential to reduce the risk of transmission due to the small physical contact between patients and health care providers. In addition, involvement in digital health allows medical providers to deal with the global pandemic even when working remotely or applying self-isolation measures.
Healthcare providers are at high risk of being positive for COVID-19. Thus, initially, health assessments of patients through telehealth are made worldwide, which are also free. These tele treatments have been offered by health institutions in many countries. Teletherapy evaluations are provided to patients by a mobile app or website that contains a brief survey of the patient's current condition. In addition, this research contains questions about the patient's age, travel history, and symptoms. The results determine the next step: the patient can be called to connect to the digital healthcare provider or visit a mobile site / hospital for COVID-19.
One of the advantages of this administrative reform is the fact that healthcare providers can no longer be infected by carriers of the virus through telehealth because it is applied online. In this way, health care providers remain healthy so that they can provide valuable assistance when needed to people in need. At the same time, a second key advantage of this administrative reform is the fact that this teletherapy is provided free of charge to all users. The time we are going through due to the virus is difficult, so in this way people do not incur further costs. Next, it is an important factor that this teletherapy is offered in many health institutions in many countries. In as many countries as possible implement this reform, the pandemic will be easier to deal with.
On the contrary, one of the disadvantages of teletherapy is that many people, especially the elderly, do not have access to the internet. At the same time, most seniors belong to the vulnerable groups of the population, and unfortunately they can not take advantage of this application. It is also a disadvantage that the patient cannot have direct contact and communication with the doctor in order to seek further advice or help.
From the above, we conclude that telehealth offers more positives than negatives with its application. We would propose to apply it to further countries in order to reduce the risk or avoid transmission to medical providers.
A second factor of administrative reform regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is health websites. Buoy Health and Lark Health are some of the health websites that use a program designed to simulate people chatting over the Internet. These sites focus on health and can help interpret an individual's symptoms and suggest the appropriate next step. In addition, to ensure the continuity of care, the results of the research are embedded in electronic medical records.
The health sites Buoy Health and Lark Health are useful sites due to the fact that there is health communication via the Internet. You can also visit these sites for free, free of charge. Next, it is an important advantage that the individual's symptoms can be interpreted and then let him know what to do. Then, the feeling of security is created, since the results for each patient are stored in electronic medical records.
On the contrary, one disadvantage of Buoy Health and Lark Health is that, as with teletherapy, these health sites can be easily accessed by older people or people who do not have access to the Internet.
In conclusion, Buoy Health and Lark Health are quite helpful, since only a few people who are a minority of the population, can not use these health sites.
Another administrative reform in digital health is the “Trace Together” mobile application used in Singapore to help detect COVID-19 contacts. This application uses Bluetooth technology to determine if a person has had close contact with a patient with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Aiva Health and Deloitte Assistant have also developed artificial intelligence systems that provide information and assistance to patients without human intervention. These interventions allow healthcare providers to meet the needs of any patient without entering their rooms and reduce their exposure to respiratory secretions and, ultimately, transmission of the disease.
An advantage of the “Trace Together” application is the fact that the contacts made by a person who is a carrier of the virus can be easily and quickly detected. This makes it easier to track people who may have been infected, resulting in rapidly limiting individuals and therefore the spread of the virus. One downside is that people have to have Bluetooth turned on constantly on their mobile devices. Also, for this measure to be effective, it must be used by the majority of the population, otherwise there will not be much effectiveness. Another disadvantage of this application is that the application may not know if the droplets have been transferred to other people nearby. As a result, many people are notified as close contact, which may not be necessary in the end. At the same time, all these people who will be considered as close contact will have to do the examination, as a result of which there will be a crowd in the centers and a lack of tests. As a result, there may not be enough tests available for people who have actually had close contacts or people who belong to vulnerable groups.
In conclusion, we would not propose to extend and further implement this administrative reform, as we consider that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages for the “Trace Together” application.
The fourth change in digital health that we will study is the rapid diagnostic test developed in Korea that has the ability to diagnose people infected with COVID-19 in the early stages of the disease. This reduces mortality and prevents transmission, an innovative method that allows thousands of people to be tested daily. The new diagnostic test reduced the test time from 24 to 6 hours using the real-time polymer reverse transcription chain reaction and was quickly approved by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ministry of Food and Drug Administration. This method was first applied on March 16 at Yangji Hospital in Seoul. A mobile self-diagnosis application has also been developed to enhance monitoring by allowing foreign and domestic travelers to enter Korea for a COVID-19 health self-diagnosis and report the results to their local health center.
There are several advantages to using a quick diagnostic test. One of them is that it does not take long to see the results, since in just 6 hours people know if they are carriers of the virus or not. As a result, close contact with the patient is notified in a timely manner, preventing rapid transmission and subsequent mortality. Its free application urges an even higher percentage to rush to check. The only downside to this test is the rumors about its validity. Due to the above, the implementation of this fast diagnostic test is carried out in many countries now. In conclusion, we consider that it is an effective measure to deal with the pandemic phenomenon we live in and should continue to be applied.
In addition, the Ministry of Interior and Security has developed an application for the protection of self-quarantine for mobile phones, to reduce the administrative costs borne by the public administration for the monitoring of local self-government.
In conclusion, we see that many Governments have pioneered the creation of applications and websites that enhance digital health, reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and revolutionize the way people around the world achieve higher standards of health and access to services. to promote and protect their health and well-being.
INTERNET PAYMENT SYSTEMS
Online payment systems are more efficient, fast, convenient and economical than a traditional payment system. The whole payment process can be done using mobile phones and the internet in a very short time. Through online payment systems, individuals and businesses can distribute money more efficiently, comfortably and securely over the internet. During the COVID-19 traffic restrictions, internet users were able to make payments while banks were closed through online payment systems.
Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the various Governments to make administrative reforms regarding their payment procedures. The goal of governments with these administrative reforms is to increase electronic tax filing and reduce the impact of transmitting the COVID-19 pandemic.
In China, for example, mobile wallet companies are cooperating with each other, at the urging of the Government, to provide digital payment options, and so the Chinese government has responsibilities for raising financial awareness and including the digital functionality of payment system services and setting up a central payment gateway system to achieve e-commerce market objectives.
China's move towards digital payment choices is very positive, because it makes it much easier for its citizens. In this way, congestion in the shops is avoided and time is saved by the citizens. On the contrary, one disadvantage of this move is the fact that many people do not have access to the internet or may have difficulty with this payment method if you are older. At the same time, for any clarifications that the customer will need, with the specific method of payment, he should contact the store by phone, since there is no direct contact with the employees. However, due to the fact that the percentage of people who can not be served through the internet is a minority, the positives of this movement are more. We would suggest that it be promoted in more countries and continue to be used as a payment method after the pandemic.
Some additional administrative reforms related to the online payment systems implemented and promoted by the various Governments are as follows: In Myanmar, e-commerce and the digital economy are included in the COVID-19 Government Relief Plan in Rwanda, Rwanda, charges for mobile payments for three months and stopped charging for money transfer services between bank accounts and mobile wallets and in Uganda, after Government intervention e-commerce platforms promoted contactless payments.
Regarding the above administrative reform, it is a key advantage for the citizens of these countries. There is no negative impact of this action on citizens, so we propose that it be implemented in as many countries as possible.
In all of the above ways, the various governments of the countries have implemented online payment systems and promoted electronic payments which support the social distance measures imposed in many countries and help reduce the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This pandemic has undoubtedly promoted Government administrative reforms in the field of e-participation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have taken steps to actively support vulnerable groups in society through digital donation campaigns and voluntary platforms. Many countries have also created hackathons to bring private companies, social entrepreneurs, start-ups and civil society organizations together to think innovatively about innovative digital ideas to combat the economic, financial and social impact of the pandemic. These e-participation initiatives have helped to promote a sense of community and shared responsibility in these difficult times.
Public participation platforms have focused on donation and volunteering campaigns. Countries have posted information on government websites or developed new websites for specific campaigns. Some initiatives have focused on civil society volunteers, while others target private companies making donations or volunteers for specific good causes. There have also been initiatives focusing on specific vulnerable groups in society, such as migrant worker communities in Singapore, social minorities in Saudi Arabia or the elderly in Serbia. The idea behind these initiatives is to help people who have suffered the most as a result of incarceration and social isolation. There is no disadvantage in this administrative reform, since its sole purpose is to provide assistance and donations to specific vulnerable groups that need it. We propose it to be implemented in further countries, in order to help more of our fellow human beings.
Another form of government administrative reform was the organization of hackathons to find solutions to the most pressing challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. Governments around the world have begun to actively seek the support of social entrepreneurs, start-ups or other private and civil society organizations to improve health care, support intensive care units or avoid intensifying social and digital disputes. For example, the goal of the internet hackathon in Montenegro was to find solutions that can help Montenegro adapt, respond and recover from the effects of COVID-19. Hackathons use application programming technology to make the collected innovative ideas work in a short time.
One of the advantages offered by the creation of hackathons, is the intensification that was found to find solutions to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the technology used allows them to implement in a short time the innovative ideas collected.
Finally, answering the question through which administrative reforms (e-government) Governments can contribute to combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we see that our research has reached several important conclusions. To tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, Governments have made many administrative reforms regarding e-government, which have undoubtedly come not only from the pandemic but also from the need for substantial reforms that will make people's lives easier. The first administrative reform implemented concerns the exchange of information. The information must be accurate, useful and up-to-date to the public, especially in times of pandemic.
At the same time, the way information is provided is through websites, chatbots and through social networks. We recommend that the specific information provided to users go through several validity filters before publishing, so as not to create misinformation and unnecessary disturbances. Next, a second administrative reform implemented is digital health, which aims to reduce risk and prevent the transmission of the virus to medical personnel.
This was done through telehealth, health websites, through the “Trace Together” application but also through the rapid diagnostic test. The advantages of these methods, as mentioned above, vary, so specific efforts to protect public health should be continued. Then the online payment systems implemented are faster, easier and cheaper than the traditional payment system. This payment method must continue to be used, as online payment has more advantages than the traditional payment system. Finally, the fourth administrative reform mentioned above concerns the e-participation sector. “The creation of hackathons is being intensified to find solutions to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”