Original Research

Approaches for enhancing information sharing between government and communities in Western Cape

Murendeni Nelwamondo, James K. Njenga
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 23, No 1 | a1414 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v23i1.1414 | © 2021 Murendeni Nelwamondo, James K. Njenga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 May 2021 | Published: 17 December 2021

About the author(s)

Murendeni Nelwamondo, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
James K. Njenga, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The Western Cape Provincial Government uses digital intermediaries to facilitate information sharing between individuals, communities and the government. Digital intermediaries are shared facilities where communities can visit and have access to information and communication technology (ICT) and the internet. Communities benefit economically, socially and politically by using free access to ICT and the internet from intermediaries’ facilities to share information with the government. There seem to be disparities between the roles of the different stakeholders in information sharing. These disparities often result in poor communication between the government and communities, and also poor government services delivery.

Objectives: This research investigated how intermediaries can enhance information sharing between government and communities in the Western Cape Province.

Method: This study adopted a qualitative research approach by using semi-structured interviews. Purposive sampling was used to collect qualitative data from 15 participants from different intermediaries’ staff in the Western Cape Province. A narrative analysis approach was used to analyse the data.

Results: The study found that intermediaries intermediate between communities and the government by providing free access to ICTs, provide basic computer training and access to computing resources and serving as an information hub. The study also found that operating hours, lack of resources, skilled staff and communication challenges adversely affect information sharing.

Conclusion: This study recommended that intermediaries are supported to increase the number of resources and facilities and the number and levels of training in the province to cater for more communities. This study further recommended an increase on operational hours, and communication channels between the government and intermediaries.


Keywords

government; intermediary; information sharing; ICT; Western Cape; information; community library; e-centre

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