The movement to e-government, at its heart, is about changing the way people and businesses interact with government. It only makes sense to find out what they want, expect, don't want, and worry about. The efforts described above vary considerably in their methods and in the range and reliability of their results. A quick informal questionnaire distributed in a mall, or posted on a web site invites only those who "come there" to express their opinions - but it is a low-cost and low-effort way to get some sense of what the people think. The formal research study that generates statistically significant results or engages carefully selected focus groups tells you more reliably what the public thinks. It also costs a lot more. And all methods are limited by the way the questions are constructed and asked. All these approaches are worth considering. Just be sure to view the results with a discriminating eye and draw only the conclusions that can be supported by the data.
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