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Are the non-governmental organizations' web sites effective?

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Purpose ‐ This study explores non-governmental organizations' (NGOs') web sites to determine the extent the web site facilities information quality, system quality and service quality in relation to target audiences. Design/methodology/approach ‐ In order to evaluate the current status of information quality, system quality and service quality on the internet, the research utilizes a content analysis of an international sample of NGOs associated to United Nations. Findings ‐ This paper provides useful information on some international NGOs' web sites. In this line of work, results indicate that the web site offers a new communication medium with which to maximize support for NGOs and enhance business performance through higher cost-effectiveness and a more practical manner in which to carry out their tasks. However, the results of this research show that the most web sites have an average effectiveness when communicating interactively. Additionally, this paper provides evidence of current web site effectiveness and advice for its improvement in a specific social sector. Research limitations/implications ‐ The main limitation of this study is the sample size and nature because the research has only included some NGOs associated to United Nations, which may bias results. Therefore, other non-profit organizations whose target audiences are different will be dealt with in future research. Practical implications ‐ This research contributes to improving the effectiveness of NGOs' web site bidirectional communication with users, enhancing the quality of the exchange between organization and target audience. Originality/value ‐ This work aims to help international NGOs improve the interactivity of web site communication through practical advice. Furthermore, this study is an attempt to fill the research gap on the evaluation about the quality web site design of NGOs.
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Keywords: Content analysis; NGOs; Non-governmental organizations; Social marketing; Web site design

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 30, 2013

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