Despite the potential for information systems to improve societal conditions in developing countries, a lack of cumulative knowledge building to inform interventions hampers progress. This paper reports an integrated action research – design science project that addressed the problem of limited adoption of e-government in Bangladesh and contributes to design theory. Inadequate knowledge of the nature of e-government systems was identified as an underlying cause of many other problems. Activities included the delivery of a training program and a handbook targeted at senior government officers. The project had relatively modest resources and yet yielded positive outcomes. Critical reflection has established a number of design principles for an intervention of this type, with the most important principle being to first identify a “sweet spot”, a point of maximum leverage, and then work on it.