Governments in the US are using a variety of methods to find out what citizens want from e-government services. These efforts are being conducted in a variety of ways, with different levels of formality and statistical reliability. This report presents those methods, and weighs the benefits and limitations of each of them.
A few are professionally designed public opinion surveys with random selection of respondents and formal statistical analyses. Others are informal efforts that ask citizens who visit state Web sites what they think about e-government services. Another kind of effort invites people to attend events where they discuss their needs and opinions.
The professional and informal surveys tend to offer respondents a fixed list of potential e-government services, and the same choices tend to be included from place to place. In response to these surveys, driver's licenses and voter registration usually top the list of desired e-services. The discussion method offers greater opportunity to explore ideas from different points of view and in more depth and therefore tend to generate longer lists of potential e-services that are tied to life events or areas of economic activity.