Web2forDev 2007 (V): Plenary Sessions: Web 2.0 for Development (II)

Thierry Helmer
L’accès à l’Information Scientifique et Technique: Dispositif SIST [Access to Scientific and Technical Information: SIST Device

Strong bet for open archiving.

Meta search engines for syndicated search:

  • A single question to ask several databases, open access archives, websites, RSS feeds, etc.
  • A single RSS format for results representation.
  • Systematic access to the original source of data.

SIST also serves not only as a search engine, but also as a way of monitoring news and everything that’s happening on the Internet.

More info

Mark Davies
Agric Market Information Systems 2.0: Making it Private, Profitable and Peer2Peer

Tradenet is open source software product to manage information: realtime SMS uploads from markets, database customized for agricultural data, multi-currency, etc. Specifically designed to get market data for farmers.

The system is not only passive — you get data updates — but active: you can query the system through the mobile phone by means of SMS messages with specific codes.

Focus on basic group communication needs, but information can also go “out” of the group and be forwarded to third parties.

Registered users can also have personal spaces and manage their friends, colleagues, the messages they get, etc. — besides being an information and trading platform, it also has powerful social software features.

Importance of collaboration between ICT developers, users, stakeholders, etc. An example of bad design: setting up a platform such as Tradenet and not thinking on who’s going to pay for the SMSs. More examples would be understanding markets, understanding users and their needs: it’s about anthropology, not technology; public/private partnerships.

Lots of people do not interact directly with the system, but with someone that has a mobile phone or directly with Tradenet kiosks. It’s all about intermediation. This enables illiterate — or low literate people — to use the system, as language might not be an issue (if you just interact indirectly with the system through a third partie) or not a big barrier, as SMSs are quite easy to read and manage.

Anup Kumar Das [+]
Sharing Knowledge, Exchanging Solutions and Community Information Updates through Blogs and Social Networks: Case Study from India

Information and knowledge diffusion through portals and Web 2.0 apps

e.g. www.indiawaterportal.org, with its own blog.

Part of the Bharat Nirman scheme to bridge the rural divide — which includes the digital divide in rural areas.

Information “wrapped” with discussion groups, e-consultation, queries and responses, communities of practice, participated by development practitioners, social workers, policy makers (besides the target users, of course).

Solution exchange communities addressing the Millennium Development Goals.

Community Radio in India: localized radio contents, covering issues related to socio-economic development, literacy, education, social inclusion / empowerment. They include blogs for information and content sharing. 4000 community radio stations estimated by year 2008.

Digital Storytelling: creation of audio-visual conents by the members or the community. E.g. findingavoice.org.

Some conclusions:

  • Web 2.0 applications ensure participatory development communication.
  • Availability of ICT infrastructures and tools ensures people’s empowerment and social inclusion.
  • Government-led public information portals are also adopting Web 2.0 applications for more actions and interactions
  • A number of Indian language applications are available in free software, addressing content localization issues
  • Capacity building a need to be approached.

Web 2.0 for Development related posts (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “Web2forDev 2007 (V): Plenary Sessions: Web 2.0 for Development (II)” In ICTlogy, #48, September 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=631

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