Toward an Enabler-Based Digital Government Maturity Framework: A Preliminary Proposal Based on Theories of Change

Cesar Renteria, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Theresa A. Pardo
May 28, 2019


Digital government has been seen as a strategy to improve public services, foster engagement with citizens, and modernize government agencies.

Regardless of the recognition of this important role in government transformation, there is no consistent evidence in terms of the determinants and results of digital government strategies. More specifically, there is no clarity about what leads to successful digital government initiatives. Stage-based maturity models have been used to better understand the current situation of digital government in terms of results.

They are also seen as useful in helping to understand the resources and capabilities of government agencies and how they contribute to successful digital government projects. However, existing maturity models have been criticized due to their lack of theory, oversimplification of reality, and linear thinking.

In an attempt to overcome some of these shortcomings, this paper proposes what we call an enabler-based digital government maturity model. Our proposed model not only argues for a multidimensional view but also suggests how to think about specific mechanisms of impact.

By specifying the mechanisms of influence, our proposal starts a necessary conversation about maturity models and the potential complementarity of stage-based and enabler-based approaches.