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M-government Challenges in Brazil
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M-government Challenges in Brazil

M-government Challenges in Brazil

by evajoy.ati@hotmail.comAugust 15, 2014

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No doubt that Brazil will become the next big contender for ICT development. Having the fifth largest population in the world and its increasing demand for mobile data as well as continuing efforts to upgrade telecommunication systems, while transitioning to LTE networks, anything is possible for Brazil. However, according to Angelica Mari of ZDNet, Brazil’s adoption of m-government (m-Gov) still in infancy stage.

According to a recent study conducted by Center of Studies on Information and Communication Technologies (Cetic.br), most Brazilian government agencies do not provide m-government services to its citizens. The survey was completed covering 572 public sector bodies from October to December of last year and the survey revealed that only 44% of the government agencies and departments are able to provide provision services through mobile devices.

This, however, is contrary to how the Brazilian government embraced initiatives for e-government. It must be noted that Brazil has put Information Technology to good use with its enhanced administrative interaction with its citizens. Electronic government (e-government) in Brazil started more than a decade ago when it launched websites for a few of its agencies and institutions. And from that point, Brazil’s e-government has evolved and became the role model of how governments can interact with the people better, improves internal management efficiency, save on costs and provide information as well as public services in an organized platform. And according to the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, there are 11,856 websites under the Gov. br domain, which only shows how much scope and coverage the Brazilian government has achieved in terms of e-government.

Nonetheless, the adoption of m-government in Brazil remains slow as the public sector refuses to keep up with the speed on how the citizens of Brazil communicate, interact and do their transactions. A report from the Brazilian Telecommunications Association (Telebrasil) shows that nearly 40% of Brazil’s households are now connected to high-speed internet and majority of Brazil’s mobile phone market are smartphones with 84.2% increase in sales in the last 12 months. The number of Brazilians who access the internet through their mobile devices, smartphones and tablets, has hit 52.5 million in 2014, which is 31% of Brazil’s young adult population.

In rural areas where mobile connectivity penetration is high such as Brazil, provisioning m-government is essential. M-government, as an extension of e-government, is a strategic means of utilizing government services and applications, delivering them through a mobile platform and wireless internet infrastructure. M-government offers several benefits including increased channels of public interaction, improved delivery of government information and services, increased productivity and effectiveness of public personnel, and lower cost that leads to higher participation from the citizens.

Brazil, just like any other government, adopting the m-government platform, may be faced with different challenges, including concerns with differentiating public interest from value added services, cost, inappropriate business models, lack of security and privacy as well as the lack of applications. As far as m-government adoption is concerned, it may still be a long way for Brazil as only 46% of the surveyed agencies are planning to offer mobile services, while 49% are not.

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About The Author
evajoy.ati@hotmail.com