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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The African Journal of Information and Communication
Title From information to engagement: exploring communication platforms for the government-citizen interface in South Africa
Volume 15
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 81-92
URL http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10539/19269/AJIC-Issue-15-2015-Full-Issue.pdf?sequence​=1#page=86
An effective communication interface between government and citizens can strengthen government responsiveness and deepen
citizen engagement. Such communication and information exchange takes many formats, especially given the various platforms and
technologies available. This article situates communication options and strategies in the context of: reported challenges around engagement
practices; expressed public preferences for particular communication platforms; and existing barriers to ICTs and other infrastructures in
South Africa. Using both qualitative and quantitative data, the research reported here explores two questions: What are the most suitable
platforms to improve government-citizen communication in South Africa? How could ICTs and other platforms be better used to promote
improved communication and more meaningful citizen engagement around public services? We argue for a differentiated approach to
communicating with citizens that acknowledges social realities and preferences if technology is to benefit socio-economic processes in a
democratic South Africa.

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