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This paper presents a new approach to measure the effects of e-government concepts on the reduction of administrative burdens, in the domain of European fund management.
The topic may receive considerable interest since the present European legislation specifies that Member States shall provide online portal services and offer paperless fund management possibilities for beneficiaries in order to reduce the administrative burdens of cohesion policy. This concept is marked with the term “eCohesion” in the scientific discourse. Based on former studies, the concept has several micro- and macro-level attributes that leverage its effectiveness and impact on burden reduction. Nevertheless the level of their influence has not been underpinned by evidence based research yet. Consequently this paper outlines a research design for the measurability and impact assessment of the above attributes.
The development of the research design is based on the Standard Cost Model, the widely-used methodology for the measurement of administrative burdens. The present paper applies the model to the attributes of eCohesion by formulating research hypotheses in order to make them measurable and to assess their relevance. The design created paves the way for a further quantitative research and methodologically supports Member States in developing a deeper understanding of the nature of eCohesion.