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Knowledge Sharing for Development: Online networks and the dual dynamics of inclusion and exclusion

Charlotte Scarf, RMIT University,
Knowledge Sharing for Development: Online networks and the dual dynamics of inclusion and exclusion
05 July 2010

This dissertation explores the extent to which donor-funded online networks support greater inclusion and fuller participation by Southern stakeholders in aspects of the development project over which they previously had limited influence or control. The potential of new information and communication technologies (ICT) to facilitate a more inclusive model of support for international development is well recognised in the literature. However, many critics argue that most online networks that have been established by donor agencies or rely on their patronage, exclude local knowledge, experience, and ideas from the South. This research contributes practical insight to this debate through an empirical investigation of online networks that support knowledge sharing between individuals and organisations at three different stages of the ‘aid delivery chain’.
The research centres around three case studies of online networks hosted by three very different organisations. They are the United Nations Development Programme, a multilateral donor agency that has embraced online networking to enable frontline development workers to help shape its aid programs as an integral part of its core knowledge management strategy; the Association for Progressive Communications, an international network of predominantly Southern civil society organisations that hasembraced online networking as a means to influence public policy in the ICT arena; and the Open Knowledge Network, an ICT for development project that was operational from 2003-2007.

Special FAO online forum to discuss gender, ICTs and rural livelihoods

CAPE TOWN 5 July 2010 (Jennifer Radloff for APC Africa Women)

From 5 – 16 July 2010, a special online forum being hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization’s e-agriculture.org initiative, and will discuss the issues surrounding gender, ICTs and rural livelihoods. The forum will also be moderated by the APC’s Jennifer Radloff as part of the Gender, agriculture and rural development in the information society. (GenARDIS) project. Join e-agriculture and GenARDIS for this forum, which will look at what has and has not worked, good practices, as well as the critical area of capacity building and what can be done to empower men and women to play a bigger role in ICTs for agriculture and rural development.

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The internet is a “radically different” place because of APC

MONTEVIDEO 5 July 2010 (Frederick Noronha and Karen Higgs for APCNews)

The pioneering work of APC founders in the mid-1980s helped establish the internet as a public and open platform for global communications and the decisions they took created an open network, years before the first web page was written. “We would open up the networks at a time when commercial operators were intent on keeping their systems as isolated islands,” says founder Mitra. By 1992, APC was connecting non-profits in over 90 countries. Frederick Noronha and Karen Higgs delve into APC’s past to commemorate APC’s twenty years networking online for social justice and sustainable development.

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's 2011 Access to Learning Award (ATLA) now accepting applications

USA

The Access To Learning Award recognizes the innovative efforts of public libraries and similar institutions outside the United States to connect people to information and opportunities through free access to computers and the Internet. The award is given by Global Libraries, an initiative of the foundation’s Global Development Program.

ICT Update Issue 55, June 2010: Cooperatives

Netherlands

Working together in a cooperative has many advantages for farmers. Collating their harvested crops means they can sell in bulk, demand better prices and have greater bargaining powers with buyers. Pooling resources also creates the opportunity to buy expensive equipment, such as food-processing and packaging machinery.

100th screening of "10 tactics for turning information into action" screened by Ugandan member WOUGNET

The documentary 10 tactics for turning information into action, produced by Tactical Tech and launched in December 2009 has been screened, by NGOs, rights advocates and independent media, at over 100 events, reaching 5155 people.

The 100th screening was held on June 1st in Kampala, Uganda, by WOUGNET.

Mobile Services in a Wireless World: The CTA 2009 ICT Observatory Meeting

The use of mobile phones currently dominates discussion among communities working with e-agriculture and ICTs for Development (ICT4D). Mobile telephony is a catalyst for social inclusion. It offers a wide range of services that support social networking and knowledge transfer.

Community Radio@World Telecommunication & Information Society Day 2010 Dhaka, Bangladesh by BNNRC

Dhaka

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is going to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2010. The A three days national program will be inaugurated on this grand occasion in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 17th May, Monday 2010.

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