An exploration of the effectiveness for the citizen of web-based systems of communicating UK parliamentary and devolved assembly information.
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MARCELLA, R., BAXTER, G. and MOORE, N. 2002. An exploration of the effectiveness for the citizen of web-based systems of communicating UK parliamentary and devolved assembly information. Journal of government information [online], 29(6), pages 371-391. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgi.2003.11.006
This article reports on an exploratory study, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, which investigated the impact of technology on the communication of parliamentary information to the general public. This study tested the application of a new data collection tool: an interactive, electronically assisted interview that was taken out across the UK as part of a pilot roadshow to organizations such as public libraries, community centers, sheltered accommodation, and universities. Here, members of the public were invited to explore and respond to the Web sites of the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, and the National Assembly for Wales. During these sessions, online activities were recorded in a data transaction log, while search behavior and verbal responses were coded in a protocol analysis approach. The article provides full details of the results of these interactive interviews. They appear to indicate that the availability of information in readily accessible electronic form is insufficient alone to encourage citizen participation. Other motivators and forms of support are required to encourage and enable people to access, use, and apply that information and to encourage them to use technology to interact with democracy.