Circling the point: From ICT4D to Web 2.0 and back again

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By Anriette Esterhuysen (International Institute for Environment and Development)
, July 2009

Web 2.0 tools are increasingly being used for development and mainstreaming information. The latest edition of Participatory Learning and Action by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), “Change at hand: Web 2.0 for development” takes a look the participatory element of Web 2.0 and the opportunities and challenges it presents. In this edition, APC’s executive director, Anriette Esterhuysen explores the circular relationship between information and communication technologies for development and Web 2.0 for development, and the assumptions about the “quick fix” that ICTs were expected to provide. In this atricle, based on her keynote address at the Participatory Web for Development Conference held at FAO in Rome in October 2007, Anriette discusses some of the more problematic aspects of the “ICT for Development” approach. She explores the potential of Web 2.0 for development, cautions against repeating the mistakes of the past, and concludes that there is still a need for a special focus on ICTs for development, provided it adopts a holistic approach to development.

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