Walang E-wanan: Utilization of Online Platforms for Civic Participation in the Case of Gawad Kalinga

WALANG E-WANAN: UTILIZATION OF ONLINE PLATFORMS FOR CIVIC PARTICIPATION IN THE CASE OF GAWAD KALINGA


Abstract

Gawad Kalinga is one of the local NGOs who had taken initiatives to make use of web mechanisms to propagate their mission not just on-ground but also online. This study aimed to determine how the organization’s utilization of online platforms facilitates civic participation among its volunteers.

Guided by the Adaptive Structuration Theory, Extended Communication Mediation Model, and Theorized Model of Communication and Civic Participation, both intra-organizational and individual utilization were looked into. Qualitative and quantitative methods were done to address the problem.

Interviews and analysis of their Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and official website revealed that GK’s goals to inspire, inform, and influence people translate in how they work around their websites’ design and content qualities. Community-oriented posts dominated but those that perform different functions such as information and action-oriented messages were also present.

The survey among volunteers revealed that they moderately use these online platforms to carry out civic communicative behaviors. Among the five behaviors identified in this study, using the websites as basis for interpersonal civic discussions was done by a greater number of volunteers.

Volunteers’ civic knowledge and civic attitude were not found to be significantly associated with online platform usage but otherwise for their level of on-ground participation. Thus, those who are more involved offline were also those who tend to use the platforms more often to support the advocacy. Nonetheless, responses in perception items showed that volunteers use the online mechanisms to support rather than replace their offline civic activities. Most also perceived the platforms to be crucial in the development efforts of the organization but believed that their community projects will still thrive even without the technologies, a perspective similar to the management's. Hence, the capabilities of the online platforms were seen to supplement the GK tradition of caring and sharing that has long been established.


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Flores, A.M. & Soliman, D.M. (2013). Walang e-wanan: Utilization of online platforms for civic participation in the case of Gawad Kalinga. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.