While the contribution of social networks to the political debates surrounding the Arab Spring has been frequently written about, an equally important question is whether Arab public sector entities have reciprocated by increasing citizen engagement through social media channels. In this analysis we look at the case of Bahrain from 2010 to September 2012 to determine if social media use has increased at public sector institutions if Bahrain. We plan to add additional countries to this analysis in the near future to determine if the trends seen in Bahrain occur in other GCC countries.
We looked at a select sub segment of Bahraini government entities involved in employment and skills formation, an issue that has been at the center of debates across the region. We find mixed evidence for widespread increased social media use amongst public sector entities involved in education and employment, but we do see a rather dramatic increase in the social media activity of the Ministries of Education and Labor in Bahrain. This finding suggests that the communication strategy of government entities on social media sites is not unified.
In the interactive motion chart available by clicking here, we show the dramatic rise in social media use at select public sector institutions in Bahrain.