Analysis of usage of public sector e-services in the EU: case study of Estonia
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In a situation where the world is moving towards digitalization and automation of e-services it is vital for service providers to maintain a competitive edge and utilize the full benefits of the circumstances. Much like to the private sector, also the public sector service providers need to think how to engage more individuals and get them to use their services in a more efficient way. For that reason more and more e-services provided by the public sector are designed and created. However, that is only the first step of the challenge and the real difficulties start when these service providers try to get individuals to use those services. Similarly the European Union has a challenge in front of it where more and more Member States are moving towards digital solutions, but face the challenge of engaging their citizens. In addition there is an uneven situation across the European Union as some Member States struggle more and seem to be falling behind. In this research paper, a more in depth analysis is being carried out on the real factors that influence individuals to be more engaged in using e-services provided by the public sector. In order to determine what these influencers are, a theoretical background is set in the first part of the paper. In that part, it is discussed, relying on theoretical data as well as official documents published by various institutions of the European Union, what is perceived to affect the decisions of individuals as well as how the impact is distributed between them. As a result of that, a closer look is taken upon trust, access, digital skills, and knowledge of verification methods as well as socio-demographic circumstances like age, gender and education. In the second part of the research paper, a logistic regression analysis is carried out to measure the impact of and statistical significance of those variables in a situation where the dependent variable is usage of a specific e-service provided by the public sector. In the context of this research paper, the focus is on internet based voting in Estonia as it is a public sector e-service, which because of its nature and significance, requires presumably a higher level of trust and capabilities of individuals The results are discussed after the analysis is carried out and ideas for further development as well as limitations of the research are evaluated.
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