This study examines the socio-economic development potential of engaging dialogue on sub-Saharan Africa Police Service Websites (SSAPWs). Drawing upon Kent and Taylor's (1998) dialogic communications framework the study covers countries from Angola to Zambia. SSAPWs were found to have performed reasonably high on the ease of interface, while lagging in terms of disseminating useful information; ability to engage the public in constructive dialoguing (i.e. dialogic loop); conservation of visitors; and return visits. While internet penetration rates in SSA may be low and expensive, most people with internet access are underreported, as data is atypically derived from unreliable PC internet subscriptions as opposed to social media usage via mobile devices. The authors argue for more proactive public sector marketing strategies, leveraging the SSAPW platform for effective crime detection, reporting and fighting - in a collaborative effort between the police and the citizens of concerned states. In so-doing the study not only contributes to the scant literature on the potential of constructive dialogic communications on the websites of public services in the developing world context - not the least in the police service sector. In other words the study goes beyond the usual suspects (e.g. online retailing) to dialogue in policing.
- Sub-Saharan African Police Websites
- Dialogic communications
- Public relations
- Policy and governance
- Trust and organizations