Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate selected Southern African Development Community (SADC) governments' web sites with regard to their language, content, currency, interactivity, and visibility. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopted both content analysis and link analysis methods. Findings – The findings show that all the SADC member states surveyed had web sites, whose statuses were at diverse development stages. The majority of the web sites were written in English while a few were bilingual and one was multilingual. Most of the web sites did not provide their dates of copyright or update. The majority of the web sites had government publications such as constitution, government reports, national development plans, and annual budgets. Only a few had information on parliamentary and presidential elections. Most web sites lacked vital statistics, calendars of forthcoming events, and facilities for feedback. Furthermore, the web sites varied with regard to their levels of interactivity and visibility. Research limitations/implications – The survey was limited to English speaking SADC countries and some French‐speaking countries whose web sites had an English version. Originality/value – The findings of this exploratory study may be used to help improve the design and development of government web sites in SADC and other countries in the Sub‐Saharan Africa.
Library Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 24, 2011
Keywords: Communication technologies; Worldwide web; Developing countries; Sub‐Saharan Africa
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