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Abstract

When the SARS virus broke out in Singapore, it posed a challenge to its crisis managers. The government mobilized its e-government infrastructure as a platform to manage this crisis. The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) provided IT support for contact tracing operations, a key part of containing the spread of the virus. DSTA developed an information system in two weeks to manage data and coordinate several agencies. Through a qualitative case study of DSTA and its role in supporting Singapore’s crisis management, in this paper, we detail how Singapore deployed its e-government infrastructure in the face of a national crisis. Crisis management needs an infrastructure for effective information sharing, and e-governments posses such an infrastructure with a strong reach across several agencies. The development of Case Management System (CMS) and its use highlights some user behavior towards data and new functionality developed to cater to the needs of the crisis. We suggest that such lessons grounded in Singapore’s experiences provide a useful direction for developing future crisis management infrastructures.

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