Ismael Peña-López (moderator), Shafika Isaacs, Vikas Nath, Paula Uimonen
Networking Cooperation — towards the networked Cooperation
Ismael Peña-López: Introduction
Paula Uimonen: Is development cooperation prepared?
No. The structure is too bureaucratic.
But the network logic is horizontal, cross-sectorial, transversal, non-hierarchical.
But it seems that the international arena is working for a more networked development cooperation sector.
Shafika Isaacs: Are organizations prepared to network?
It depends: they’re all in an evolutionary process.
There’re more and more organizations working in the field of ICT4D.
And a rising awareness on the issue.
Big leadership behind ICT4D fostering.
Common agenda that enabled collaboration and networking, especially withing the civil society, with an inflection point at the WSIS.
Vikas Nath: What is networking and how can this be achieved?
People join networks for two reasons: (1) more benefit than the cost of joining it and (2) multiplier effect that a network is increased by one member.
There’s no optimum design for a network: the network will shape itself according to its needsl.
Conclusions from my group (the four people above)
- Network culture assumes the character of the leading person/organization, of the dominant personalities
- Networking is about “we”, and ceases to exist when focused at the “I” — not a consensus on this part
- The Network Society is here, and is here to stay
- In developed countries — and their institutions and organizations — infrastructures is not the issue
- Big funding agents foster collaboration through compulsory partnerships
- Network participation implies engagement with the other (which might be different from you), boundary crossing
- Where there is power there is resistance, and resistance is also organized in networks (Foucault)
- We lose to dream, we ain’t dreaming enough, we “think small”
- Lack of e-awareness
- Competition for funding
- The contradiction that the network compromises the individual with the collective will
- Networks can bring disruptive creation
- I exist because I am on the Internet
- The Network is becoming more “real” than reality itself, we should think digital
- Network creates a more human society
- The power dynamics are designed by the network leaders
- The network is cold and has no emotions
- Big nonprofits will act as hubs, and distribute work to smallest nonprofits and individual online volunteers
- The social and cultural aspects of ICTs will promote networking
- We have potential to make positive changes, because we are the network,and networks have potential to make significant changes
- Web 2.0 enabling more collaboration and bottom-up initiatives
- Resistance, which leads to lack of change
- Endorsement, that leads to progress
- Impossibility to keep tight control
- Flexibilize organizations
- Focus on what value you are adding to the network
- Be a statue sometimes and not always the pigeon
General conclusions (from all groups)
- Networks are here and are powerful
- There’s evidence of change and shifting towards networking: in the society, in organizations. And there’s an evolving trend towards more networking
- Networks are catalysts, make things happen, have multiplier effects… but they have no essence on their own, they just mirror the good and bad things of the society, what works and what does not work, there’s nothing new under the (networked) sun but humans
- Strong need to enable individuals so they can work with ICTs, in networked frameworks
- Same with organizations: collective change, organizational change, reshaping according to networking needs
- We have to make networks explicit, design them, rule them, have common goals, a common agenda, managing confidence and leadership. Monitoring and network assessment is a must that comes along with network creation and maintenance.
- We should work towards inclusive networks, fostering capacities, networks that empower their nodes so they can still be a part of the network.
- The Web 2.0 is seen as a (potential) inclusion concept/philosophy/technology, an empowering one
- Caveat #1: all these conclusions are not axiomatic: there are shades, blurring edges, contradictions, etc.
- Caveat #2: this is how we see networks today, but we should also keep in mind that networks (and society) will evolve, so should these conclusions
Development Cooperation 2.0 (2008)
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2008) “Development Cooperation 2.0 (IV): Working groups: Networking Cooperation — towards the networked Cooperation” In ICTlogy,
#52, January 2008. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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