HICSS - 57 Digital Government Track
57th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
January 3-6, 2024 - Hawaiian Village, Waikiki, HI

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Digital Government: Narrowing the Divides


Governments at all levels continue to promote, grow, and augment their digital engagement with the citizens that they serve. Through social media, mobile applications, online services, and other forms of digital services, governments are increasingly expecting that individuals will interact with them through a range of digital media and technologies. This includes public policy-making (e.g., governance), government operations (e.g. emergency management), citizen engagement (e.g. transparency), and government services (e.g., information provision).

As governments closed their physical locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital services and resources were the primary, if not only, means through which individuals could engage with their governments. As governments have emerged from the pandemic, some have pursued hybrid work strategies, which can continue to limit access to physical government resources and services. The pandemic, and the post-pandemic environment, has highlighted the disparities that various populations, particularly marginalized groups, and governments face in achieving a vision of digital government for all.

As governments promote digital pathways for service and resource provision, as well as engagement, it is critical for governments to ensure that all citizens are able to realize their needs through inclusive design, availability, and ability. Digital divides remain, however – from access to sufficient technologies (e.g., broadband, devices, costs), the ability to use technologies, and the design of digital government services. This minitrack focuses on digital inclusion within digital government services. The minitrack includes (but is not limited to) topics such as:

Impacts of the COVID-19 on the ability of marginalized groups to engage with digital government;

The development of inclusive digital government;

Longitudinal analyses of inclusion in digital government;

The role of digital literacy in use/non-use of online government services;

The use of digital government by immigrant, migrant, and displaced populations;

The use of digital government by indigenous populations;

The use of digital government by low-literacy populations;

  • The role of socio-economic status on the use of digital government;
  • Accessibility of digital government for people with perceptual, motor, or cognitive disabilities;
  • The role of government in the development of international technical standards for digital accessibility;
  • The role of community-based organizations (e.g., public libraries, non-government organizations) in fostering digital inclusion;
  • Development and/or implementation of statutes, regulations or policies related to digital inclusion;
  • Trends in case law related to digital inclusion;
  • Trends in comparative or international law related to digital inclusion;
  • The relationship between trust of institutions and use of digital government by diverse populations;
  • How digital-based voting impacts involvement of citizens in elections
  • LGBTQ+ interactions with digital government;
  • Usability evaluation methods for testing digital government services with diverse user populations;
  • Research methods for understanding why diverse individuals avoid using digital government; and,
  • Inclusive design methods to involve diverse populations in the actual development of digital government.

Minitrack Leaders

Jonathan Lazar, PhD, LLM is a professor in the College of Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland. Previously, for 19 years he was a professor of computer and information sciences at Towson University, where he served as director of the information systems program for 14 years. Dr. Lazar has authored or edited 15 books, including Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction (2nd edition, co-authored with Heidi Feng and Harry Hochheiser), Ensuring Digital Accessibility Through Process and Policy (co-authored with Dan Goldstein and Anne Taylor), and Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology (co-edited with Michael Stein). He has published over 150 refereed articles in journals, conference proceedings, and edited books, and is the recipient of the 2020 ACM SIGACCESS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility, the 2019 Rachel Olivero Accessibility Innovation Award from the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, the 2017 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Research and the 2016 ACM SIGCHI Social Impact Award. In 2012-2013, he was selected as the Shutzer Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. At the University of Maryland, Dr. Lazar is the director of the Trace Research and Development Center, the nation’s oldest research center on technology and disability, and he is a faculty member in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL). Dr. Lazar recently served as the general chair of the ACM ASSETS 2021 Conference.

John Bertot is Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Professor in the College of Information Studies (iSchool). His research and teaching focus on information policy, telecommunications policy, equitable access, and public service innovation. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the HICSS Digital Government Track, the program committee for the ICEGOV conference, and has served as president of the Digital Government Society. John served as editor of Government Information Quarterly from 2000-2015, and now serves as an Associate Editor for the journal. He served as co-editor/editor of The Library Quarterly from 2002-2014. In addition, John served as chair of the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) Library Performance Indicator (ISO 11620) working group from 2002-2014, chair of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Research Round Table, and served on the ALA Committee on Research and Statistics and E-government Services Subcommittee.

Simone Diniz Junqueira Barbosa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Informatics of PUC-Rio, Brazil. A Level 21D researcher in CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development in Brazil), she has published over 170 refereed articles in journals, conference proceedings, and edited books. In 2010 she co-authored the HCI textbook Interação Humano-Computador, for the Brazilian Computer Society (SBC) series, first published by Elsevier, now self-published. Dr. Barbosa has led research projects funded by CNPq, FAPERJ, Microsoft Research, and Hewlett-Packard, in addition to some Brazilian companies. In 2010, Dr. Barbosa founded the IDEIAS lab, which in 2019 merged with the Semiotic Engineering Research Group (SERG). She was the SBC's representative in IFIP TC 13 from 2008 to 2013, when she became an expert member and later Vice-chair for Working Groups and Special Interest Groups. From 2013-2015 she was the chair of the Special Commission for HCI of the SBC. In August 2019, she joined the CHI Steering Committee as a voting member. She was co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM Interactions Magazine (2016-2019). In 2019, she received the IFIP TC 13 Pioneers Award, and in 2020 the “Carreira em Destaque” (Career in Highlight) Award of the Special Commission for HCI of the SBC. More recently, Simone served as general co-chair of the ACM CHI 2022 conference.


John Bertot 
Associate Provost
University of Maryland College Park
Email: jbertot@umd.edu


Jonathan Lazar 
University of Maryland College Park
Email: jlazar@umd.edu


Simone Barbosa 
Associate Professor
Email: simone@inf.puc-rio.br