Online Government Content in South Africa


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A talk on online government content in South Africa, drawing on the experience at the Western Cape Government. Presented by Thomas Bevan at the Cape Town Content Strategy Meetup held in November 2011.

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  • The importance of putting government content online:Becoming policyGive public access to documents, forms, howtosReduce costs, esp at contact centres.Better participation and feedbackLess corruptionAccountabilityInteractionImprove communication with public
  • We’re getting online. More info available every year. Starting to be part of policy.
  • We’re getting online. More info available every year. Starting to be part of policy.
  • Include “Just make a website” and lack of ownership/maintenance
  • Put it on the home page. Now!The Minister/Director-General/Head of Department wants..Things change – all the time.
  • NB – change this by showing the value of good online content.
  • Content strategy =achieving business goals by maximizing the impact of content.Rahel Bailie: In the public sector, the ROI of content likely means efficiency of delivering services.KPI: Allow the public to get answers to questions or problems in a self-serve  way, by providing helpful information.
  • - Keep it simple
  • Find out who your users are, and what they are looking for.
  • What do you think is the most popular section of our website?
  • What do you think is the most popular section of our website?
  • Expand on, and why this fails at Also, always question whether the content is relevant.
  • A style guide people will actually use.
  • Tell anecdote of people from a prominent national department.
  • A basic content strategy has helped us get from here.
  • Cleaner
  • Very clean and focused
  • Visits up by 50%, pageviews by 40%.Complaints down by plenty!
  • Very few govt websites or online teams have a clear content strategy. It shows. Combined with the cultural challenges, means we’re stuck with poor online govt content. However, we’re starting to demonstrate the value of good content, combined with good design and navigation, and with that we’re starting to show the value. Many departments are now starting to understand about what we mean with good online content. Stats are very helpful!Content strategy =achieving business goals by maximizing the impact of content.
  • Online Government Content in South Africa

    1. 1. online Government ContenT in South africa
    2. 2. Who are we?e-Government for Citizens
    3. 3. It’s important!
    4. 4. • Inform the public of available services and facilities• Access to documents and processes• Increase public engagement• Self-service
    5. 5. So….what’s being done right in SA?
    6. 6. So….what’s being done wrong in SA?
    7. 7. Why’s it so $%#@ hard?!!
    8. 8. What is this thing called Internet?What’s the internet?
    9. 9. It’s online.Why are youcomplaining?
    10. 10. Which is closely linked to…5361562162XRTFS.pdf – it’s good enough and…NEMA, EIA, EAP, DEDAT, DEADP – you know?
    11. 11. Sometimes I get nightmares…
    12. 12. Not citizen-centric
    13. 13. You’ve got to change the culture!
    14. 14. Content strategy can make the difference.Content strategy, even rudimentary, will help you show how good online content can improve service delivery.
    15. 15. Where to start?
    16. 16. Know your audienceBe user/citizen-centric
    17. 17. What are citizens looking for? Fun facts!
    18. 18. Jobs!At lunch time on Mondays
    19. 19. Check your marital status Marriage Divorce
    20. 20. Also…Applying for a passport / IDVehicle licences & registrationOld age pensionsUnemployment insuranceLiquor licence applicationsGetting a firearm licence
    21. 21. Know what you’ve gotAnd what you still need to get
    22. 22. But most importantly….Be clear about what you do!And defend this with your life!
    23. 23. From this
    24. 24. To this
    25. 25. To now
    26. 26. Success?Average 50% increase in visits in less than a year. Far fewer complaints.
    27. 27. Good online content helps usdeliver government services. Content strategy, even a basic one, makes the difference.
    28. 28. Thomas Bevan@herdingwordsPS: We’re recruiting!