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From Sri Lanka, impatient with "pilots"...

Goa, India

Sri Lankan journalist Nalaka Gunawardene has this interestingly-argued piece Waiting for Pilots to Land in Tunis on the IslamOnline.net site, that has some blunt questions to ask around the question: "Are Pilot Projects Helping Development".
Sri Lankan journalist Nalaka Gunawardene has this interestingly-argued piece Waiting for Pilots to Land in Tunis on the IslamOnline.net site, that has some blunt questions to ask around the question: "Are Pilot Projects Helping Development".

Nalaka writes: "Thousands of ‘pilot projects’ have been seeded all over the developing world during the past few years to find out if information and communications technologies (ICTs) can foster development. Among these are attempts to put computers in underprivileged schools, provide GenderIT.org. ">internet

access to the poor, or bring ‘community radio’ to villages.... Of course, there is nothing wrong in trying out new ways of improving lives and livelihoods. Every possible tool must be employed in the global battle against poverty. If technologies can offer part of the solution, we should indeed welcome it. But the enormous development challenges we face, captured in recent years by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are not going to benefit from what I call ‘forever-pilots’: projects that remain externally supported for years or decades, and never seem to stand on their own."

This impatience is welcome; but one could argue that there are many models which are shown to be scalable, sustainable and successful. Free Software is one of those! But such issues do deserve to be debated....

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