AN INFORMATION DISSEMINATION STRATEGY FOR GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSONS TO MINIMISE SERVICE DELIVERY PROTESTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Keywords:Information dissemination, Communication Strategy, Service Delivery protests
The purpose of this study was to develop an appropriate information dissemination framework for government spokesperson to minimize service delivery protests in South Africa. Of central concern to the study was the positive contribution that government communicators could make with regard to managing the reputation of the South African government.
The study’s aims were to address the concerns and assumptions that many government spokespersons underappreciate the value of effective information dissemination especially in the context of South Africa’s volatile service delivery environment. Ineffective information dissemination skills on the part of government spokespersons is a real cause of concern. The inability by government spokespersons to properly disseminate, inform and update disaffected communities on service delivery issues is largely regarded as a contributory factor towards the current surge in protest incidences. Disseminating information in a crisis-ridden environment is a complex task that requires unusual information dissemination strategy, skills and experience.
The study followed an interpretivist epistemological trajectory within the qualitative method using case studies as a research strategy. In depth interviews were conducted using semi structured interview guides to obtain rich information regarding the phenomenon in relation to service delivery protests in South Africa. Interviews were recorded in line with ethical standards and subsequent to participants’ s permissions using an audio recoding device. These recorded interviews were transcribed and transformed into data documents that were subsequently analyzed within the method of thematic analysis. Data refinement was treated through the COSTA QDA technique using webQDA software.
Findings confirmed the pre-defined study objectives which indicated the need for heightened and structured approach to information dissemination by government communicators. Further synthesis indicated a requirement for such information dissemination to be structured proactive and responsive to diverse environments. In view of the above, a theory was developed which resulted in an Information Dissemination framework.
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