E-Government Capabilities and Crisis Management: Lessons from Combating SARS in Singapore

Shan Ling Pan, Gary Pan, Paul Devadoss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The city-state of Singapore has been highly ranked for its e-government services. Over the past two decades, it has leveraged its IT infrastructure for economic development and transformed its public services. The SARS outbreak in 2004 turned into a national health crisis because it spread rapidly and the medical community had little knowledge of how to treat the new mutation of the corona virus.Yet, several Singaporean government agencies utilized the e-Government infrastructure and related resources to quickly bring the outbreak under control. In particular, the government’s IT infrastructure streamlined communications, information exchange, and data flow, and significantly eased collaboration among government agencies, private businesses, foreign agencies, and the public. By being able to coordinate crisis management activities, Singapore was able to keep the public up-to-date, enlist help from many sources, and rapidly develop innovative IT applications to contain the outbreak. Our findings illustrate the importance of IT in helping both public and private enterprises respond effectively to crisis situations, where leadership, speed, and coordination are paramount.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)385-397
JournalMIS Quarterly Executive
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2005


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