Evaluating South African and Namibian governments’ use of digital media during Covid-19

Karabo Sitto, Elizabeth Lubinga, Sarah Chiumbu, Konosoang Sobane, Nkosinothando Mpofu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Governments during the Covid-19 pandemic in response to the challenge of reaching as many of their citizens as quickly as possible have relied on the use of digital media communication. Various stakeholders, however, have questioned whether strategic use of digital communication by governments has been effective during the Covid-19 health crisis. We thematically analyzed a public online bi-country webinar and conducted a netnographic analysis of South African Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize and Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services Twitter accounts to evaluate the effectiveness of government digital communication during the Covid-19 pandemic. Stakeholders and social media analysis highlight that government digital communication has lacked engagement, falling short in assisting citizens to understand the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We highlight the shortcomings of governments simply transmitting information on channels built for dialogue, the digital divide limiting reach, as well as how limited engagement opens up opportunities for misinformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-337
Number of pages18
JournalWorld Medical and Health Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Covid-19 health crisis
  • digital media communication
  • stakeholder engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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