Development Cooperation 2.0 2009: conclusions

Notes from the the II Encuentro Internacional TIC para la Cooperación al Desarrollo (Development Cooperation 2.0: II International Meeting on ICT for Development Cooperation) held in Gijón, Spain, on February 10-12th, 2009. More notes on this event: cooperacion2.0_2009. More notes on this series of events: cooperacion2.0.

Participative conclusions

(unsorted contributions from the audience)

  • Need for applied research on ITC4D processes, modelling and scaling
  • Need for collaborative work among inst.
  • Nothing about us without us
  • Technological determinism: Mobiles are hammers and everything looks like a nail
  • Richness on diversity of views
  • Need for R&D agenda with South as shaper and agent
  • Development 1st, ICT as resources and tools
  • Don´t forget the users, they’re also stakeholders in ICT-based solutions
  • Multi-stakeholder approach
  • Spanish Coop to draw on available expertise for advice
  • Next stage on ICT4D: focus on KM, agenda transformation, along with dev agenda too… towards a Development 2.0?
  • Debate on ICT4D largely over, but still there underneath. More evidence, models?
  • Build awareness
  • Empower Southern actors for ICT4D innovation
  • Scale of problems are huge, but analysis helps to disaggregate in order to facilitate interventions.
  • Don’t discard pilots yet
  • ICTs can even serve as a stimulus for self-esteem in gaining more capacity by people
  • This presents a significant opportunity
  • Incorporate socio-emotional factors in ICT4D -related work
  • Knowledge and experience-based approaches, understanding models, process (the how’s?)
  • Then assess those kinds of resulting projects programmes to see how relevant such models/processes
  • Adequate KM is very important, hard to truly know what´s going on, but rigorous methods, evidence-based needed
  • Demand-driven projects interventions – do users have an input?
  • Detect real problems, then elaborate joint solutions
  • ICT4D is not new, there is considerable work already and learning; beneficiaries also present practices themselves (thanks for ICTs…?)
  • Capacity development

Debate

(unsorted ramblings)

Vikas Nath: Wake up call that ICT4D have to focus on the “D”.

Merryl Ford: how do we know how, when and where we succeeded? How do we build the agenda? How do we reach the stage to collaborate in building together the agenda?

Anriette Esterhuysen: Development is continuous, and there are new challenges and everywhere, not only in developing countries or during crises. We need knowledge management, to keep learnings in mind. And look to small initiatives with small but really effective impact.

Najat Rochdi: Development 2.0 implies a huge shift, bringing in a new concept of multilateralism. We need to bring new stakeholders in.

Ismael Peña-López: What or who are development institutions? In a world 2.0 where everyone participates, institutions are in dire crisis of identity. We should bring in not only development institutions, governments or communities to whom we address development actions, but also the citizens that can enable them in the developed world by means of ICTs. Development 2.0 is not about institutions, it’s about people in both developing and developed countries.

Anriette Esterhuysen: Significant gaps in access to infrastructure makes it still difficult to link micro-to-micro levels of development cooperation. Notwithstanding, people are driven by commitment and come together to run projects. We have to let them build these projects on their own. To promote smooth evolution of projects instead of leaping from one to the other.

Vikas Nath: Cooperation has to balance powers, and be made from an even and empowered point of view. Countries have to enter the cooperation landscape in a position of strength. Cooperation 2.0 is the solution to balance powers. But we’re not seeing it: giving aid is somehow legitimizing donor countries to intervene at their own will in developing countries. And we have to end that.

Najat Rochdi: Cooperation 2.0 towards co-development.

Ismael Peña-López: we have to be able to list an inventory of all the resources available (funding, natural resources, human resources, knowledge), see who’s got what, and engage in a conversation on how to better allocate and exchange these resources. ICT4D are surely about knowledge management and the transmission of knowledge, not the transmission of “atoms”. And, the more countries specialize, the more likely we are to find ICT4D is the leading issue in Development Cooperation in general, as it is knowledge unbalance what really makes development differences dire (let aside humanitarian aid for emergencies).

Development Cooperation 2.0 (2009)

Najat Rochdi: Innovating in the Use of ICT for Human Development: the Key in the Transition to a New Phase in ICT4D

Notes from the the II Encuentro Internacional TIC para la Cooperación al Desarrollo (Development Cooperation 2.0: II International Meeting on ICT for Development Cooperation) held in Gijón, Spain, on February 10-12th, 2009. More notes on this event: cooperacion2.0_2009. More notes on this series of events: cooperacion2.0.

Innovating in the Use of ICT for Human Development: the Key in the Transition to a New Phase in ICT4D
Najat Rochdi, Deputy Director in charge of Policy, Communication and Operation at the UNDP Liaison Office in Geneva

The goal: achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Can we do it the proper way?

What’s the connection between ICTs and poverty alleviation? What does it really mean ICT4D?

And it’s not about the poorest ones only: the crisis that began in 2008 — and it’s absolutely blasting in 2009 — is also about how ICTs can contribute to alleviate its effects. Access should be able to enable people to progress. But access is unevenly distributed.

The private sector has lead innovations in the ICT field. The development sector should also be reached by such innovation processes: new ideas and new applications of old ideas. We need to leverage knowledge. We have to shape the changes, not be shaped by the changes.

A new digital aid is coming, based on the citizen, on the individual, empowered by the web 2.0 and the upcoming web 3.0.

Web 2.0, added to text messaging, is opening a new landscape of participation and democracy. The web 2.0 and mobile technologies do not only increase development by empowerment, but also create new markets that make it sustainable.

Sharing is the key to ICT4D success: share methodologies and instruments, best practices, research, data, etc.

But there’s urgency in pursuing these goals and putting hands to work in ICT4D related issues. And commitment is needed too. The resources, the human capital, the technology… everything is out there, but we need to bring it to the ones that need it, and we need to do it with a broad political support.

Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you.

Debate

Q: how do we know we’re really addressing the real needs? A: It’s a collective responsibility. We have to abandon the idea that development agencies and organizations know everything, and that there’s so much to learn from local communities, that we have to engage them in the making of the projects.

Caroline Figueres: Participation and communication is already happening on the field. The problem is that is not being known elsewhere. We have to make it sure everything is well known.

Q: What happens when there’s no infrastructure? A: Mobile technologies seem to be helping in the infrastructures issue. On the other hand, it’s important to catalyse the demand, so that the private sector sees there’s a niche, a need to be covered that can report benefits. A holistic, multi-stakeholder approach is what has to be solved beforehand.

Q: Why is there not an international political commitment to apply the same energies to poverty alleviation than to the financial crisis? A:

Manuel Acevedo: Next step? A: We need scalable initiatives. To do so, from the beginning a quantitative approach has to be made so that sustainability can be (sort of) calculated and know that there is a potentially high probability of success. We do not use to document projects, to see whether we can share outcomes and learnings, specially methodologies. We have to end up with experimentation, and go to the field scientifically prepared. We have to innovate (i.e. apply tested things), do not experiment.

Anriette Esterhuysen: (re: Caroline Figueres) it’s not already happening. There is no continuity, hence there is no scalability. On the other hand, there’s lack of capacity and ability to communicate knowledge. And, in this time of crisis, what will happen to ICT4D projects and institutions? A: ICT4D is not marketing issue you can cut down to reduce costs. Is a matter of international survival, so commitment will (hopefully) stand. The private sector is playing a most important role in developing countries and is there to stay, it’s boosting and changing a mindset change.

Development Cooperation 2.0 (2009)