Indexed on: 23 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government
Parliaments represent the interests of citizens, and so remain critical to democracy and good governance. Therefore, for effective citizens’ engagement, ensuring online presence, and enhancing transparency of internal processes, parliaments’ leverage on Information and Communication Technology is of paramount importance globally. This study investigates the contents of official parliamentary websites in the 36 State Houses of Assembly of Nigeria to determine how they facilitate effective engagement between citizens and their elected representatives. The methodology used includes manual testing based on categories and critical sub-factors in line with Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Guidelines. Desk research was also used to determine technical challenges for the implementation of e-parliament. The findings reveal that only 36% of the State Assemblies have official websites. Five are fully functional, and just five state legislatures effectively utilize interactive tools to re-engage the citizens. Results show that 58% of the state legislatures use social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. The authors conclude that in enhancing civic participation, state legislatures need to provide a relatively open, more responsive, accessible, and interactive website while extending social medial tools.