E-government use in small island states: review of the literature, problems and ways forward

Yıldız M., Sağsan M.

in: Research Handbook on E-Government, ERİC WELCH, Editor, Edward Elgar , New York, pp.299-321, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar 
  • City: New York
  • Page Numbers: pp.299-321
  • Editors: ERİC WELCH, Editor
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


There are very few studies about e-government use in small island states. In order to fill this gap in the literature, this chapter examines e-government use in six small island states; Barbados, Fiji, Iceland, Malta, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Vanuatu. These six states are selected in order to create variation in terms of geographical location, economic development level, dominant economic sectors, and level of e-government development. E-government development and use in these small island states are studied by both reviewing the literature and examining the content of their central and local government level official websites/portals, as well as social media pages on Facebook and Twitter, and national e-government strategy plans. The findings indicate that small island states use e-government applications for providing a wide variety of information and services to their various groups of citizens (elderly, the disabled, students, etc.) and local businesses, as well as expats, visitors/tourists and international investors. Common challenges are of digital divide, scarcity of resources- especially brain drain- sustainability of political and bureucratic support, lack of inclusive governance processes, data quality and the pressing urgency of the diversification of economic activities. Some of these problems can be mitigated by better coordination among these small island states by the help of regional development organizations, and building sustainable systems of management and finance of e-government projects. The findings of this review may help small island state decision-makers and international/regional agencies in better guide these states in identifying and solving the challenges of e-government planning, implementation and evaluation, and thus provide better services to their citizens, businesses, visitors/tourists and expats.