Reconsidering the Importance of Context for the Success of Digital Government: The Case of Legal Vulnerability and Extreme Poverty in the Provision of Migration Services at the Southern Mexican Border

Luz Maria Garcia-Garcia, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
June 7, 2018


This case study proposes to rethink context as a determinant of digital government success and elaborate on the variables that affect these initiatives in specific contexts.

When talking about contextual variables, researchers often categorize them as social, political, and economic. Regarding social conditions, the digital divide is probably the most studied concept, although the conceptualization can vary for authors from different disciplines and theoretical traditions.

For instance, many authors use the digital divide to not only refer to access to the Internet and related technologies, but also the skills and capabilities of users and how they use technologies to generate value in their daily lives.

This case study argues, however, that the social context goes well beyond the digital divide and includes additional important factors like extreme poverty and legal vulnerability.

Using the case of immigration services in the southern border of Mexico, this paper shows how multiple variables from the social environment affect digital government success and its impact on multiple users.