Since October 1st government institutions showed progress in e-democracy sphere. The majority of the institutions that had closed Facebook walls and were unavailable to be contacted via Facebook message, already fixed the problems and provided more tools for communicating with the citizens. Also, public institutions became more active in interacting with the citizens. Most of them frequently respond to the questions and comments of the citizens. Despite the above mentioned, problems and challenges remain:
- Absence of consistent strategy for sharing news. Some of the pages just had two or three activities, while some of them hadn’t shared any news during the whole month. On the other hand this tendency causes passiveness of the users. Accordingly, page has the only function – to share news and fails to serve as discussion platform.
- In most cases the official Facebook pages fail to provide the history of the institution, mission of the page and contact information. None of the pages provide the moderation and commenting policy. The latter is widely spread practice on official Facebook pages of various government institutions all over the world.
- The majority of the monitored institutions do not provide interactive and interesting applications (blog, forum, poll etc). On part of the pages, research team detected applications with technical flaws.
Based on above mentioned, it is necessary that pages share thematic news. In order to provide transparency and citizen involvement, every institution must open the Facebook page wall and activate the message application.
It is important to identify the strategy of each Facebook page and inform subscribers about it under the “About” section. Institutions must elaborate the commenting and moderation policy. Attention must be paid to integrating application and providing balanced information through sharing news from various sources. This will increase the level of tryst towards to institution. Pages must keep on responding to the messages of the citizens.
Research was prepared in the frames of project “Development of e-Participation in Georgia”.
Project is being implemented by the “Institute for Development of Freedom of Information” (IDFI) in cooperation with “Center for Post Soviet Studies” (CPSS) within the frames of “East-West Management Institute” (EWMI) program “Public Policy, Advocacy and Civil Society – Georgia” (G-PAC). This program was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this research do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
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