Digital Civil Society: How Nigerian NGOs Utilize Social Media Platforms


Political Science and International Affairs

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School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

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Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have the potential to contribute to a vibrant civil society and build social capital within countries, but the potential for social media to support these connections is unclear, particularly in the developing world. Building social capital requires constructing relationships between people, and social media will be most likely to accomplish this when it is used in an interactive way. Previous research has considered the issue of interactivity and social media usage in Western countries like the USA, but no research has focused on these issues within the developing world. Our paper explores the degree to which Nigerian NGOs are utilizing social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, in ways that are more interactive in nature, and thus in ways that are more likely to build robust and reciprocal relations. Utilizing a new coding scheme created by the authors and data on the use of Facebook and Twitter by 1988 Nigerian NGOs and the level of interactivity of tweets from 151 of these NGOs, we find that while few NGOs in Nigeria appear to utilize social media, those that do are more interactive in their usage than expected.


International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society

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