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16th Int'l Conf.

Computer and Information Technology, 8-10 March 2014, Khulna, Bangladesh

E-Governance Using Social Network


A Model for Strong Democratic Environment in Bangladesh

Md. Amer Muntaq Ganim Md. Kamruzzaman


Department of Computer Science and Engineering Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Khulna University of Engineering & Technology Khulna University of Engineering & Technology
Khulna, Bangladesh Khulna, Bangladesh
ganim09@yahoo.com mkzaman12@hotmail.com

AbstractIn recent years, investigating national incidents of results of public examination through mobile phones and
Bangladesh it has been seen that social network played a vital websites. Many national institutions have their own websites.
role. Though social network sites like Facebook, Twitter, and National web portal have been launched, so people can
Google+ are mainly used for connecting people all over the world oversee the activities of government [15].
but they are now being used for advertisements, news updates
and for various important purposes of day to day happenings.
The term democracy originates from Greek word
Microblogging is getting more and more popular among
educated and conscious people of Bangladesh. It is becoming dmokrata which means rule of the people. Democracy is
another popular media which can provide entertainment and a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an
knowledge sharing about anything. Social Networking Sites equal say in the decisions that affects their lives. Democracy
(SNS) has become rendezvous of different people, different allows eligible citizens to participate equally, either directly or
beliefs and interests to share and discuss. In this circumstance through elected representativesin the proposal,
here we propose a model of e-governance using SNS for development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social,
democratic Bangladesh perspective. Direct interaction between economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and
citizens and government can strengthen democracy. equal practice of political self-determination [16]. Modern
Accountability and transparency of politicians and government-
political democracy is a system of governance in which rulers
workers can be ensured by flow of information to citizens of
various developing activities. This paper proposes a model are held accountable for their actions in the public realm by
concerning these matters, in order to reduce corruption using a citizens, acting indirectly through the competition and
government controlled SNS. cooperation of their elected representatives [17]. But in the
age of internet we learned about a new form of democracy, e-
KeywordsSNS (Social Network Sites), E-governance, democracy. E-democracy is the use of information and
Democracy, Transparency, E-Democracy, ICT (Information and communications technologies (ICT) and strategies by
Communication Technology), G2C (Government to Citizens). democratic sectors within the political process of local
communities, states, regions, nations and on the global stages.
I. INTRODUCTION
Here the term democratic sectors means governments,
E-governance is the idea to connect root people with the elected persons, media, political parties, interested groups,
government directly using web. There are several synonyms of civil society organizations, citizens and voters [18].
e-governance including digital government, one-stop Bangladesh is practicing democracy more than a decade.
government and online government [3]. It is the use of modern Political parties also practicing e-democracy, they have their
information and technologies such as internet, local area own websites and they are using social network to spread their
networks and mobile phones by governments to improve news and holding election campaign. The use of internet-
effectiveness, efficiency for service delivery and to promote based social media programs that connects friends, family,
democracy. The objective of e-governance is to support and classmates, customers and clients is known as social network.
ease things for all parties. Its main purpose is to make a At present many social network sites are available such as
government more citizens centered. E-governance enables Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. and they are playing a vital
citizens to access government services and information role. Social network now not only connects people and creates
through the use of internet or mobile phones. It brings community but also has become a way of advertisement. Even
transparency and reduces corruption. The government of political movements starts from social network. For example,
Bangladesh is trying to build an e-government backbone. To we can say about Tahrir square in Egypt and Shahbagh
keep pace with the modern world and to ensure a digitalized movement in Bangladesh [19] [20]. In Bangladesh there are
governance system, the government of Bangladesh identified more than 3 million people who are connected to different
four elements to give priority: e-governance, e-learning, e- social network, especially Facebook [13]. From the above
commerce, e-citizen [1]. Already people of Bangladesh are discussion this paper proposes a model to develop a strong
enjoying some e-governance service. They are getting various

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16th Int'l Conf. Computer and Information Technology, 8-10 March 2014, Khulna, Bangladesh

democratic environment in Bangladesh by connecting e- opportunities of the initiative of e-government in developing


governance, democracy and social network. countries.
In [11], authors present a proposal of a justifiable,
II. RELATED WORKS feasible and effective framework for implementing e-
It has been seen that a lot of researches have been done in governance by ensuring maximum utilization of existing
the scope of e-governance. To strengthen the connection infrastructure as well as providing a parallel initiation of the
between government and citizens using new technology is the re-engineering process in Bangladesh.
main objective of e-governance. In the late 1990s the e-gov From above discussion it is concluded that a many of
(Electronic Government or Electronic Governance) field arose researches have been done on e-governance in Bangladesh in
as a new idea [3]. A brief discussion on the history of e-gov, different sectors. And our proposed model of e-governance
current status of e-gov in 2004, content of the field as it will be new to Bangladesh that will help to strengthen
appears in current research is done by author Thomas A. democracy.
Horan [3]. In [12], authors present the concept of e-
III. CONNECTIONS AMONG E-GOVERNANCE,
governance to describe and analyse local ICT policy and the
DEMOCRACY AND SNS(SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES)
role of various stakeholders in it and analyse the way
European urban policymakers guide their city into the Government is the institution which decides different
information age. Basic problems, major issues for issues in national and international manner in order to develop
implementing and acceptability of e-governance in India have a nation and to increase the standard of livelihood of the
been explained in the research by author Sanjay Kumar citizens. We can say a government is democratic when it is
Dwivedi. decided by the citizens of a country. Citizens elect their
representative through direct vote in a democratic government
So there are a lot of researches on e-governance from system. Bangladesh, where at present democratic government
history to implementing issues, problems, acceptability, new system is going on over a decades but democratic environment
models for e-governance with different perspectives to is absent in most cases. Peoples participation, participating in
different countries. E-governance using existing SNS decision making as a source of power is democracy. But in
technology for improving e-government services and Bangladesh this aspect is not available. Peoples relation with
proposing a model and guidelines for improving Serbian the government is happened in two activities while casting
regional government entities social networks appearance in vote for election and giving tax [18]. After being elected by
Serbia is the recent research on e-governance scope [5]. the citizens, most of the representatives do not have any
Bangladesh as a developing country and for coping with the connection with the citizens. Many causes are responsible for
technologies and challenging world there are also many this. Indifference of public representatives and unwillingness
researches on e-governance to improve Bangladesh. of citizens both are responsible for this. As an overpopulated
Researching based on surveying of high ranked employees country it seems impossible for an elected person to pay heed
of various government organizations and politicians of to everyones problem. Bureaucratic complexity and lack of
oppositions and ruling parties of Bangladesh to find their ideas political moral keep away leaders from changing public needs
about E-governance authors proposed recommendation for and priorities [18]. For tedious activities in government offices
improving e-governance in Bangladesh [6]. people want to avoid them. So public problems and demands
Launching of e-governance by Bangladesh government, remains unknown. It hinders the main mantra of democracy.
opinions about e-governance in Bangladesh, capability of Democratic environment is greatly hampered in Bangladesh
existing institutions to implement e-governance, challenges of for the distance between government and citizens.
practicing e-governance initiatives are discussed by author
Mohammed Asaduzzaman [7]. Government is trying various paths to connect with the
In [8] authors have discussed on the issues that are the people and to give them services. To make things easier
impediments of implementing e-governance and provide government is using websites, mobile phones, social media to
specific recommendations for implementing e-governance in keep connect with the citizens, and usage of this digital
the most feasible, cost-effective, and efficient manner in process is known as e-governance. The main problem of this
Bangladesh. e-governance system is it is one-sided. Government keeps
In [10], authors proposed a model of e-governance where connection with the people but people can not connect directly
main goal is to implement e-governance in a flexible and cost with the government by e-governance. From Figure-1, we can
effective manner to suit with current infrastructure in see government passing information to citizens through digital
Bangladesh to provide better information and service delivery media but citizen only works here as a receiver. They can not
of the government to the public; and hence promote participate in any discussion to opine in this e-governance
democratic practices through public participation and system.
consultation for urban and rural areas of Bangladesh.
In [9], authors researched on e-government for developing
country and identified and analysed the challenges and

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16th Int'l Conf. Computer and Information Technology, 8-10 March 2014, Khulna, Bangladesh

proposed model does not appreciate it because as this is an


internal connection between the citizen and the government of
citizen government Bangladesh. So the government has to build a new SNS which
will act almost same as Facebook. By the term will act
almost same as Facebook, it expresses that the behaviour of
the SNS will be like Facebook but the administrative and
controlling will differ.
e-governance
services The model is based on two essential components: profiles
and pages. Profiles represent citizens and pages represent
government organizations, ministries and political parties etc.
This model gives the framework and functionality of profiles
Fig. 1. Relation between citizens and government in existing e-governance and pages of this proposed SNS.
services
A. Profiles layout and functionalities
To make citizen, an active participant through e-
governance we propose a model of a Social Networking Site Proposed SNS comprises two types of profiles: citizen
(SNS). SNS are widely used for connecting people with each profiles and PR (Public Representative) profiles. Citizens of
other. From Figure-2, we can observe here a two sided Bangladesh, having national identity card can have a citizen
communication and active participation of citizens where profile. As this SNS is government controlled and designed
existing e-governance system are one-sided. So, by e- for discussing national issues, to avoid unwanted profile,
governance using a government controlled SNS it is possible verifying using national identity card seems feasible. A citizen
to eradicate the distance of the government and the citizens profile can subscribe PR profiles or pages. When they would
where Bangladesh can create a more suitable democratic be logged in the SNS they can see posts given by their
environment. subscribed pages or PR profiles in the news feed. The term
news feed defines the first page seen by a user after logging
into a SNS. User having a citizen profile can comment on a
post submitted by his/her subscribed pages or public
representative profiles. User can subscribe new pages or PR
citizen government profiles as well as can unsubscribe the previous subscriptions.
Every user is eligible to post in the discussion forum attached
with every page. The type of post can be texts, photos or
videos. Subscriber of a particular page can also participate in a
discussion post by other users. Every citizen profile must give
e-governance some information about itself which can be seen by others.
using SNS
Public representative profiles are provided by controlling
organization of the SNS. Here public representatives are
elected member of parliaments, mayor of city corporations,
UP chairman and all types of elected members who are elected
through direct election participated by the citizen of
Fig. 2. Relationship between citizens and government using SNS as e-
Bangladesh. The owner of a specific PR profile will change if
governance necessary and it will be controlled by administration of the
SNS. User having a PR profile will also has his/her own
citizen profile. The main difference between a PR profile and
IV. PROPOSED MODEL:SNS FOR GOVERNMENT a citizen profile is that a PR profile can post his opinion like a
E-governance is composed of three major components are page can do where a citizen profile can only comment on
G2G (government to government), G2C (government to posts. PR profile can also comment, subscribe to other PR
citizen) and G2B (government to Business) [2], [6]. G2C profiles or pages. Another vital issue of a PR profile is that
covers citizens interaction with government [6]. Proposed the user must share his election manifest and electoral
model emphasizes on government to citizen issues and it is affidavit in his/her profile. He/she will give his source of
designed to eradicate the existing problems of democracy in income, educational background and participation in various
Bangladesh. The model is essentially a SNS like Facebook, social works. User of a PR profile can share a message with
but we propose to develop a different SNS officially for e- the citizen through his profile to share his view and thinking.
governance in Bangladesh.
B. Pages layout and functionalities
As Facebook is the largest and most popular existing SNS, Every ministry of government and governmental
government could use Facebook for e-governance but institution will share their activities with the citizen through a

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16th Int'l Conf. Computer and Information Technology, 8-10 March 2014, Khulna, Bangladesh

page. The managing administration of the SNS will provide while necessary. Governmental institutions like city
the system of a page to the authority of a particular ministry or corporations, divisional offices, district offices etc. will
institution. provide information contacts about the area such as contacts of
police, fire brigade, tax office, passport etc. The pages will
post their day to day happenings of their sector and flow the
information to the citizens of Bangladesh. Government must
ensure that every single information about public affairs come
Citizen online. Citizens having citizen profile can comment on these
profiles PR
profiles
posts and can express their joy, grief, opinions like other
social networks. Pages hold the power to keep active this SNS.
In every page, there is a discussion board, where citizens can
discuss on a certain topic. Pages can launch public survey
through the SNS.
Figure 3 shows the basic structure of the SNS that
Every Ministrys
government will use. Circle shows the profiles and rectangle
Pages
shows the pages of SNS.
V. A CASE STUDY
Every Divisions
Pages
Server,
Database,
Lets assume, Ministry of Finance sanctions one billion
Maintenance taka for providing infrastructure of primary education and give
SNS Every Districts it to Ministry of Education. Both of the ministries will share
Pages this information with the citizen through their SNS page. Then
when it will go to the divisional region, each division shares
their information about this on their page. Following this rule,
Every Wards the very root level of institution will also provide their
Pages information. Citizens who subscribed these pages can
comment on this action and can also opine in discussion
forum. The anti-corruption commission and political parties
Every Upazillas
keep close eyes on these events and can take necessary steps
Pages according to public opinion. By following this, citizens can
know the information of an act to the very high to the very
root level and transparency can be maintained easily. These
Every Unions processes are just like a tree, where the transparency between
Pages each child node and parent node can ensure the transparency
of the whole system and information can reach to very root
citizens and ensure a strong democratic environment where
Every Government everybody can access information they want, can opine and
Organizations thus participate e-democracy being a e-citizen.
Pages
Ministry of
Different Finance
government e-
services Pages
Ministry of
Every registered Different Pages Education
Political Partys that government
Pages wants to launch

Division of Division of Division of


Fig. 3. Block diagram of the basic structure of proposed SNS. Dhaka Khulna Chittagong

Registered political parties will also get a page for their


own purpose including election campaign. At the time of
launching, the pages must contain some necessary Jamalpur Jessore Rangamati Bandarban
information, such as in case of a ministry, it consists of name District District District District
and profiles of responsible figures of the structure of the
ministry including the minister and bureaucrats. It also Fig. 4. Flow of information tree.
provides important contacts so that anybody can access them

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16th Int'l Conf. Computer and Information Technology, 8-10 March 2014, Khulna, Bangladesh

VI. ANALYSIS OF THE PROPOSED MODEL From figure 5 it is seen that maximum users are 18-24
Proposed model is fully related with the technology of years. And perspectives of Bangladesh, in the age 18-24
SNS which may be handled and maintained by ICT maximum are students of Bangladesh [14]. Students are the
(Information & Communication Technology) ministry. future of the country but many of the students of Bangladesh
Bangladesh as developing country it will be very expensive spend many times in Facebook for entertainment but they are
for the infrastructures and maintenance cost. In the sense of also conscious about their country. This time can be utilized
corruption people behind this project who will maintain this besides entertainment if proposed model is implemented in
will have to be honest persons. Issues of inadequate ICT Bangladesh. Student politics should not have to be banned
infrastructures, unwillingness of government officials, power rather it will be limited to online for developing purpose like
shortage, inefficient panning, Lack of awareness, absence of checking out atrocity of government or other political parties
central powerful ICT wing, lower literacy rate, inadequate etc. For election maximum time people dont know about the
human resource, absence of effective legal framework, natural nominee who is bad or good for country. Even sometimes we
disasters, limited connectivity with high cost and low have to vote without knowing him properly but e-governance
reliability, lack of reliable maintenance, lack of regulatory can give them a profile where nominee can submit electoral
framework are the main impediments of implement the model affidavit or his information about him by which we can get a
[8]. These are some lacking of implementing SNS for good knowledge about him though people never see him in
Bangladesh, but it is possible if corruption can be handled by front of them. And ICT and Anti-Corruption Commission will
Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh. Most of the check the information that public representative has given to
educated and conscious people of Bangladesh are connected SNS is right or wrong. Using this people can get connected
via most popular SNS Facebook. They posted their opinions with each other and make unity among them for any
and feelings in Bangla texts on different national issues using development of Bangladesh and social media can coverage of
available Bangla keyboard via their computers, laptop, mobile activities of this SNS. Authors have made a survey among
phones etc. Investigating recent years activities in Facebook, around 1100 Facebook users where 82% are students of
Bangladeshi users raised their voices via Facebook and still different universities of Bangladesh 1% are students of MSc
now they are discussing, criticizing, checking, talking, and Ph.D. in abroad and rest of them are job holders. The
surveying, and sharing different national issues. Statistics survey contains three questions about this model. Questions
(October 29, 2012) shows that Bangladesh is the 48th country are in the TABLE 1. We created a form of these three
in the world basis of the number of Facebook users [13]. questions in Google docs. Then, we shared the questions in
There are 3.29 million Facebook users where internet users are Facebook publicly for mass participation.
8,054,190 in Bangladesh in the end of 2012 [13]. Figure 5
TABLE 1. QUESTION USED IN SURVEY
shows the Facebook users in Bangladesh according to age
[14]. So internet users and educated people are increasing in
Question NO. Questions
Bangladesh.
1. All of the developing information of Bangladesh
that government is working on which is your right
to know, if you get that in SNS will it be helpful
for you? Yes or No?

2. Discussion, criticizing, suggestions, making


decisions on Government works is your rights as a
citizen of democratic country. For this reason if
government take step to develop any SNS then do
you want to connect with that? Yes or No?

3. People will more eager to discuss on national


issues in Government SNS than existing SNS like
Facebook or Twitter. Yes or No?

Figure 6 shows the survey result that 98.31% wants


information about the development workings of government,
and the vital thing is 89.83% people wants to connect with the
proposed SNS for Bangladesh government but on the basis of
s
popularity and entertainment 37.29% people thinks that people
Fig. 5. Facebook users in Bangladesh according to age will not eager to discussing on national issues in proposed

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16th Int'l Conf. Computer and Information Technology, 8-10 March 2014, Khulna, Bangladesh

SNS. But the majority thinks that people will be eager to REFERENCES
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The authors are thankful to those who have participated on
the survey related to this paper and special regards goes to Dr.
Faijul Amin for his thoughtful advices.

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