Web2forDev 2007 (VIII): Appropriate Technologies — Web 2.0 at the Grassroots

Tobias Eigen
Wikis, Blogs and Online Profiles for African NGOs at Kabissa – Space for Change in Africa

Empower civil society so they can better act as change agents.

African organizations are using web 2.0 but not actively in support of their mission, mostly because of lack of understanding of the tools due to poor access, and, sometimes, because they get misled by technical (unnecessary? geeky? cool? trendy?) terminology (buzz? hype?).

So, keep it simple, keep it useful, keep it understandable.

Caleb Wall
Cairo Concept: Village to Village Knowledge Sharing

It’s going to be successful it the user finds it useful. Accessible, easy… is just not enough.

Set up a Virtual Development Neighborhood, to design together, with the future/potential user, how the network, the application will be. So, at this stage, we’re proud to state that we don’t know how the system will look like.

Working together with: universities, governments, civil society, local communities, donnors, all inside the Virtual Development Neighborhood.

Ednah Karamagi
Enhancing Knowledge Sharing in the Rural Community through Adoption of Web 2.0 Tools

BROSDI is an NGO that works for the envolvement of government and civil society in facilitating the grassroots rural person to improve their livelihood. They run CELAC for agricultural information in Uganda.

Some Web 2.0 tools used:

  • Information websites
  • Blogs, where people can talk, something very especial for kids, whose ideas are usually not taken into consideration
  • Google Maps, to geolocalize resources
  • Wiki [login/password protected wiki], as a training materials repository
  • SMS, sent through a website
  • Podcasts
  • FlickR, discussion groups, Skype, e-Learning tools, etc.

Advantages of Web 2.0

  • Knowledge gets documented
  • Enhanced community sharing, which sometimes does not happen offline but does online, and then they cannot stop!
  • Improved livelihoods

Challenges of Web 2.0

  • Requires Internet: Internet’s expensive; electricity is bad scheduled in the whole country; differing peoples’ susceptibility to change
  • Information hoarding

Some real results

  • Diversified (agricultural) production
  • Used center information to build a house and set up banana plantation
  • Grew turkeys
  • New plantations
  • Learn to make natural fertilizers

Answering a question, Karamagi states that this system has also been successful in the Education and Health fields.

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 (VIII): Appropriate Technologies — Web 2.0 at the Grassroots” In ICTlogy, #48, September 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=634

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