Fifth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (XV). Networks

Notes from the Fifth IPID ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium 2010, held at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, on September 9-10th, 2010. More notes on this event: ipid2010.

Empowering network development cooperation models
Manuel Acevedo

Objectives of the thesis: to characterize networked development cooperation and propose a model for it; and to examine the degree of appropriateness of “enabling networks” that are most appropriate for development cooperation.

One of the main problems today for analysing networks is that everything seems to be a network or to be in one. So a first question should be to clearly identify what is and what not a network.

Despite the aforementioned aspect, development work and the development system does not seem to be really networked and instead be adapting very slowly to the Network Society.

Hypotheses:

  • The adoption of network processes and structures would contribute to the “efficacy of aid”.
  • The introduction of net main strategies conditions success adoption.
  • The functional profiles of “enabling types” of networks, once in place, are more appropriate for development cooperation.

Conceptual elements: human development (Sen), network society (Castells), openness and access to information (IDRC), innovation as a driver of change and development 2.0 framework (Heeks).

The main purpose is to explore network-based development cooperation mechanisms and see whether capacity is more widespread, whether freedom complements talent, and whether networks are good operational mechanisms to get those results.

We can categorize networks according to purpose (knowledge, project, policy, etc.), morphology, constituents (staff, organizations, volunteers, etc.), working style…

While a representational network acts on behalf of its members, an enabling member pursues the strengthening of the capabilities of the members of the network, taking advantage of the attributes of the network, providing tools, methodologies, helping non-members to join in, etc.

The research will gather evidence on how is/are the cooperation network(s) like and how do they work. After that, the intensity of the network (network intensity index, NII) will be measured to test their performance, especially idenfiying the weaknesses so recommendations for improvement can be made. Issues that the index will cover are structure, management, functionality and results. The difficulty will be, of course, in defining the appropriate indicators and collecting all the data.

Some networks that will be analyzed are Telecentre.org, APC in Latin America and the Caribbean, InfoDesarrollo (Peru), TICBolivia, CONGDE, IICD. These are very different networks.

Fifth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2010)

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

Peña-López, I. (2010) “Fifth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (XV). Networks” In ICTlogy, #84, September 2010. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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