Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)    DOI: 10.54808/JSCI


Addressing Socioeconomic Objectives through Enhanced Decision Support Systems for Water Resources Management: Vision, Gaps, and Challenges in South Africa
Krishna PRASAD, Kenneth STRZEPEK, Barbara VAN KOPPEN
Pages: 1-6
Water resources management has become a field where computer-aided analytical techniques are expected to facilitate a complex process of decision making which involves several stakeholders with varied interests and various socioeconomic objectives of the natural resource development and management strategies. In many ways, the decision-making related to water resource management exhibits a political process that requires water resources engineering expertise combined with suitable use of informatics. This paper investigates the case of South Africa to assess the extent to which various computer-based decision support systems have succeeded in terms of addressing the socioeconomic objectives encompassed under the new vision for water resources management. Prevailing gaps have been identified through an exhaustive review of relevant initiatives in the country and abroad. A conceptual recommendation has been made to address the identified gaps while highlighting the challenges that lie ahead.

Aria Sardinia: the on line community joining tradition and innovatiom
Fabrizio Lao, Paolo Tola
Pages: 7-12
The “ARIA Sardinia” project (Network Actions for Italians Abroad) has been especially designed to integrate and give value to the network of relationships between public administrations, local socio-economic stakeholders and Italian communities abroad, this goal to be pursued with the support of new technologies and learning approaches emerging within the context of on line interest communities. The general objective of the project is the development of competencies and knowledge, intended to combine specific technical skills with local “territorial knowledge”, in a process where the strengthening and the dissemination of these forms of culture come from the prompt use of innovative tools. The main activities of the project are the actions intended to guide and assist entrepreneurs, associations, development projects’ partners or promoters in the path of acquisition and dissemination of the competencies which are necessary to the involvement of Italians abroad into the internationalization process of Sardinian economy. ARIA Sardinia was funded by the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry and the European Social Fund (FSE), within the framework of the National Operational Program for Technical Assistance and System Action (PON ATAS) aimed at specific promotion initiatives and fostering of permanent links between Southern Italy economy and Italians living abroad. Keywords: on line community, networking, Italians abroad, Sardinian economy, Sardinia, culture.

Boundary Crossing Issues Between Academia, Business and Government
Kay Fielden
Pages: 13-18
In this paper issues arising from crossing boundaries between the three worlds of academia, business and government in performing informatics research are explored. In particular the issues arising for informatics researchers in conducting case studies in business are explored following the qualitative research phases set out by Denzin and Lincoln (2000). Habermas (1996) provides a philosophical and structural framework on which to base this exploration. Informatics case study research is selected to deconstruct because it is the most common qualitative method chosen by informatics researchers. The framework developed in this paper is one attempt to address Hirschheim and Klein’s (2003) claim that the field of information systems is a ‘fragmented adhocracy’ in which disconnects exist between researchers and practitioners in business, researchers and government, researchers and the rest of academia and also within the ever growing context in which informatics research takes place. Such a framework provides a navigation aid for dealing with the complex issues associated with dilemmas, disconnect and distortions that may arise in undertaking case study research.

Case study: Kyrgyzstan
Baktybek Abdrisaev, Zamira Djusupova, Alexey Semyonov
Pages: 19-22
ABSTRACT The paper discusses the importance of Open Source (OS hereinafter) technology for national Information Communication Technology (ICT hereinafter) development and E-Government for developing countries as a general strategy for overcoming the digital divide. The paper highlights the opportunities presented to the developing countries by the growing world-wide movement for use of OS systems, namely, the ability to promote the transfer of technological know-how and the growth of local IT professionals, the possibility of providing IT solutions within the limited financial means of a developing country, and the ability to strengthen the legal use of software. The paper

Computing Technologies for Oriented Education: Applications in Biological Sciences
Santiago Jaime Reyes, Aída María Castañeda, Jesús González
Pages: 23-25
The experience developing modern digital programs with highly qualified profesoors with several years of teaching postgraduate biological sciences matters is described. A small group of selected professors with a minimum knowledged or basic domain in computer software were invited to develop digital programs in the items of their interest,the purpose is to establish the bases for construction of an available digital library. The products to develop are a series of CD-ROM with program source in HTML format. The didactic strategy responds to a personal tutorship, step by step workshop, to build its own project (without programming languages). The workshop begins generating trust in very simple activities. It is designed to learn building and to advance evaluating the progress. It is fulfilled the necessity to put up-to-date the available material that regularly uses to impart the classes (video, slides, pictures, articles, examples etc.) The information and computing technologies ICT are a indispensable tool to diffuse the knowledge to a coarser and more diverse public in the topics of their speciality. The obtained products are 8 CD ROM with didactic programs designed with scientific and technological bases.

Democracy and the Internet: Access, Engagement and Deliberation
Roman Gerodimos
Pages: 26-31
The internet has the capacity to facilitate the creation of new forms of civic engagement, but the realisation of these opportunities requires institutional and cultural reinforcement. The democratic character of e-citizenship and the equal distribution of online resources to the public require the fulfilment of four conditions: access, engagement (incorporating education, motivation and trust), meaningful deliberation and a link between civic input and public policy output. Furthermore, the gap between the main features of cyberspace and the inherent prerequisites of democracy, such as a finite space and a set of rules, create tensions that need to be negotiated politically. Although the empirical evidence available includes some encouraging signs regarding the future use of the internet for civic engagement, the existing limitations and obstacles mean that the new media will complement, rather than replace, the old media as a democratic public sphere.

Dialogue with Citizens - the Missing Link in Delivering e-Government?
Wendy Olphert, Leela Damodaran
Pages: 32-36
Many governments and political bodies across the globe are exploring the potential benefits of ICT as a means of improving communication with citizens and stimulating participation and engagement in political and civic processes. This paper reviews progress to date in the UK towards delivering e-government at the local level, and concludes that that there is evidence of a lack of ‘pull-through’ of the ministerial concepts and vision in the current delivery of e-government. In order to achieve the important e-government goals of increasing citizen participation and improved speed and efficiency of the underlying processes, the authors argue that a participative approach to the design and delivery of e-government is required. A co-creation approach to design is proposed. This will enable a dialogue between the citizen and the local authority, and which will embody and support democratic processes which will facilitate the genuine co-creation of decisions.

E-Government in the Asia-Pacific Region: Progress and Challenges
Clay Wescott
Pages: 37-42
This paper will focus on two issues: (i) recent e-government progress and challenges, and (ii) the practices regional organizations follow to cope with the challenges, while maximizing the benefits. Beginning with an overview of efforts to improve governance in the region, it then analyzes recent progress in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the Asia-Pacific region to promote more efficient, cost-effective, and participatory government, facilitate more convenient government services, allow greater public access to information, and make government more accountable to citizens. Successful adoption of e-government presents major challenges. The paper concludes by examining the practices regional organizations follow to cope with the challenges, while maximizing the benefits.

Gauging E-Government Evolution in EU Municipalities
Lourdes Torres, Vicente Pina, Basilio Acerete
Pages: 43-54
Since the late 1990s, governments at all levels have launched electronic government projects aimed at providing electronic information and services to citizens and businesses. Although websites are becoming essential elements of modern public administration, little is known about their effectiveness. The objective of this paper is to study the quality and usage of public e-services to citizens in Europe. According to the results of this study, e-government seems to be following a more or less predictable development pattern ranging from a stage in which interaction is limited to what is shown on the screen to stages in which there is two-way communication and service and financial transactions can be completed with a satisfactory level of protection of personal privacy. At present, e-government in almost all the cities studied is merely an extension of the government, with potential benefits in speed and accessibility 24/7. Despite the limited degree of development observed, online access has advantages that are impossible to replicate offline. Even though few expect e-government to completely replace traditional methods of information, e-government is becoming a powerful tool of transformation, which has become embedded in the culture and in the agenda of the public sector.

Informatics and Society: The Challenge of Improving IT Accessibility
Bruce Diamond, Gregory Shreve
Pages: 55-57
Information technology (IT) is an important part of society and has assumed an increasing role in education, medicine, commercial, leisure, and sociopolitical applications. However, while progress in developing IT hardware and software has advanced, our understanding of user needs and how these needs can be translated into more accessible and effective system design lags behind. The challenge that we face is rooted in the fact that many individuals across this planet who are differently-abled due to aging, developmental or neurologic conditions or to individual differences in learning, face obstacles in using and accessing IT. The central thesis of this paper is that the effective delivery of IT to the differently-abled is contingent on deriving enough information about user populations to allow for the development and use of personalized interfaces and customized content. To this end, it is proposed that a combination of adaptive hypermedia and cognitive adaptive strategies integrating metadata architecture for representing the results of cognitive and functional assessments be designed and implemented. Keywords: Information technology, accessibility, differently-abled, adaptive hypermedia, informatics

Reki-Show Authoring Tools : Risk, Space and History
Makoto Hanashima, Ken-ichi Tomobe, Tsutomu Hirayama
Pages: 58-64
In social sciences, most events occur in specific time and space. We call such events here "Spatiotemporal Events". It is obvious that events, having always a beginning and an end, appear at a specific place or in particular space. Suppose there exists an conceptual data model regulating some rules to describe those factors, it enables us to store various spatiotemporal events as data and to refer with one another. We, therefore, define a simple spatiotemporal data model, calling "Reki-Show". We also call the information system, consisting of Reki-Show data model, "Reki-Show System", and consider Reki-Show System as the basic information system to deal with the various events in human society. Accordingly, we have recognized that it is indispensable in the future social sciences to have the database and tool for both the temporal and spatial attributes, and have been developing Reki-Show Authoring Tools based on the conceptual framework in Reki-Show System. At present, the fundamental component has been developed already through some steps, and the system is now applied to the empirical research. We would like to make a report of the outline at this stage. This paper explains the basic concept in Reki-Show (Conseptual Data Modeling), followed by the outline of the implemented system.

The Role of Political Information in Union Certification Elections: Preliminary Evidence from Selected States
Michael Toma
Pages: 65-68
This paper focuses a public choice lens on the rationality of voters in U.S. union certification elections in fourteen selected states between 1994 and 2001. These elections are characterized by conditions that are favorable for empirical tests of the rational voter model. The electorates are relatively small, the potential benefits can be significant, and the costs of voting are negligible. The empirical work yields three straightforward results. First, voter participation is negatively related to the size of the electorate. Second, the margin of victory is negatively related to the voter participation rate. Third, as the political climate becomes more liberal, the voter participation rate declines. This suggests that in labor-friendly states, there is less of an incentive to vote either for or against certifying a union to collective bargain on behalf of workers.

Transforming Educational Societies through Interactive Videoconferencing
Patricia Barbanell, John Falco, Dianna Newman
Pages: 69-75
This article will examine how Project VIEW is building a new foundation for communication structures in education by transforming classroom pedagogy through interactive technologies. In addition it will present the outcomes of a model of evaluation that is providing formative and summative information on the process of integrating new communications systems into education, as well as information on the direct outcomes and systemic organizational changes that have occurred as a result of that process. In sum, this article presents research-based evidence for technological integration in curriculum that includes structures that work and outcomes that count.

Networking Technologies and the Rate of Technological Change
Charles Mitchell
Pages: 76-82
Network technology is changing rapidly and those adept at ICT analysis need resolve rate of change issues. Developments in networking now are in the direction of heuristic intelligence. Since about 1980, networking techniques have encouraged combining bits of information with imagination cognitively to improve ideas about reality. ICT enterprise projects utilize networking to sustain requisite imagination. Assumptions and misassuptions of project builders are rationally comprehended as networking sustains creative processes. The monopolization of valuable network techniques influences in the direction of esoteric networking. Data presents that substantial knowledge and networking is now occurring globally. As a netaphor, networking

Canadian E-Government Sites: An Exploratory Study of the Political Dimensions of Disseminating Information
Haidar Moukdad
Pages: 83-88
This paper is based on a study of a selection of Canadian E-government sites, exploring the types of information and services they provide. I studied the political considerations affecting the nature of available information and services, and I used the results to draw an illuminating picture of the role of politics in the dissemination of information in Canada.