(July 1, 2011)--In September, the world once again will witness a historic moment in Egypt and the Middle East when the country's first open election will be held. In preparation for that monumental time, an expert from The University of Texas at San Antonio is helping Egyptian academic and political leaders develop an effective and efficient e-government system that will address the needs of the new democratic society.
Christopher Reddick, chair of the Department of Public Administration in the UTSA College of Public Policy, recently returned from Egypt where he presented his ideas. Hisham Abdelsalam, an associate professor at Cairo University, asked Reddick to assist an Egyptian team working to develop an open form of e-government for the new administration.
The project is called LoGIn2EGYPT and is headed by Abdelsalam through the Decision Support and Future Studies Center at Cairo University. LoGIn2EGYPT is funded through a grant from the International Development Research Center in Canada and is sponsored by the Egyptian Ministry of State for Administrative Development.
"The whole idea of e-government is to provide another avenue for citizens to get public services and have control over how they receive it," said Reddick. "Instead of going into a government office to renew a registration or paying someone to take care of it for you, for instance, an individual can log in to the government site and take care of it themselves. And with the popularity of cell phones, even in developing countries, access to the Internet is becoming less of an issue."
E-government, Reddick said, can create a more transparent government in which people can have a greater voice in their interaction with government agencies, something especially important for this new democracy.
Abdelsalam requested Reddick's assistance after reading his book, "Handbook of Research on Strategies for Local E-Government Adoption and Implementation: Comparative Studies." The two-volume book provides research from 21 countries around the world examining the adoption and impact of e-government.
Reddick's expertise and involvement in LoGIn2EGYPT not only places UTSA in the middle of the historic event, but also greatly advances the university's mission of making a difference in society, a sentiment echoed by Rogelio Saenz, dean of the College of Public Policy.
"Chris Reddick's collaborative work in Egypt makes an important contribution to UTSA's mission to become a Tier One institution reaching the global society," said Saenz.
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As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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