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Information sharing in government departments : a Namibian case study
This study explores information sharing in government departments from a developing country's perspective. Efforts to understand the relationship between information sharing as a concept and the e-government(s) phenomenon are made and discussed. Literature reviewed in this study indicates that information sharing is a core component of the eadministration part of e-government. E-government initiatives are intended to enable information sharing between and within government departments. ICT initiatives under the egovernment umbrella facilitate information sharing within government departments. However, such initiatives fail to or do not achieve their intended objectives due to technological, organisational, environmental and people related limitations. The process to overcome such barriers can begin by analysing activities focusing on information sharing processes as a means of identifying needs for improvement. There is a need to discuss work activities, actors, aims of activities and the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in government departments, in order to identify information sharing needs and make possible recommendations for effective information sharing processes. A conceptual model is recommended to improve information sharing in government departments, and it has shown promise when applied to a selected work activity in this study. The results of the work activity case study show that technology, organization, environmental and people related factors indeed exist in the government's department and can have both a positive and a negative influence on information sharing between the three governing levels of the Namibian government. A pair of recommendations is given in this study. Firstly, a technology-organisationalenvironmental- people framework is recommended to government departments for effective information sharing. Secondly, recommendations are given to facilitate the information sharing needs of the Child Allowance (CA) department in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW). Limitations of the study and opportunities for further research that have been identified are stated at the end of this study.