Evaluating the use and impact of Web 2.0 technologies in local government

Uthayasankar Sivarajah, Zahir Irani, Vishanth Weerakkody

Abstract


Second generation web-based technologies (Web 2.0) such as social media and networking sites are increasingly being used by governments for activities ranging from open policy making to communication campaigns and customer service. However, this in turn has brought about additional challenges. By its very nature, Web 2.0 tech- nologies are more interactive than the traditional models of information provision or creation of digital services. Such technologies open up a new set of benefits, costs and risks to those government authorities who make use of these social and digital media to enhance their work. This study draws on the extant literature together with an in-depth qualitative case enquiry to propose an emergent framework for evaluating the intra-organisational use of Web 2.0 technologies and its impact on local government. The study findings identified additional four factors (i.e. benefits: intra-marketing, informal engagement, costs: workload constraints and risk: integration with other systems) as part of the evaluation criteria which have not previously been discussed in the existing literature surrounding the context of Web 2.0 use in local government. The study concludes that a combined analysis of the evaluation and impact assessment factors, rather than one particular approach would better assist decision makers when implementing Web 2.0 technologies for use by public administration employees.


Keywords


Web 2.0, internet, policy design

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@Annual Review of Policy Design ISSN: ISSN 2291-6989