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Change at hand : web 2.0 for development

ASHLEY, Holly
et al
June 2009

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There are dozens of emerging interactive web services and applications, sometimes referred to as the ‘participatory’, ‘social’ or ‘readwrite’ web, but more commonly known as Web 2.0. Together, they are radically changing the ways we create, share, collaborate and publish digital information through the Internet. These new technical opportunities bring challenges as well as opportunities that we need to understand and grasp. Most of the themed articles are based on presentations made at the the international Web2forDev conference, 25-27 September 2007 at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy

Policy engagement for poverty reduction : how civil society can be more effective

COURT, Julius
June 2006

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This briefing paper draws on a report by Julius Court and others entitled 'Policy engagement: how can civil society be more effective', also published by ODI. It examines the role of civil society organisations in poverty reduction strategies and looks at ways to enhance their influence on the policy making process. Inadequate knowledge about the policy making process, lack of resources, insufficient capacity and policy makers' mistrust of CSOs are the main obstacles to their full engagement in policy making. Effective approaches should entail: campaigning and implementation of pilot projects aimed at improving adverse political contexts; rigorous mapping and assessment of political contexts; identify critical policy stages; provide relevant and objective evidence; use effective communication methods and strategies; apply network approaches; engage in systematic capacity building

Social capital and transnational South Asian families : rituals, care and provision

MAND, Kanwal
March 2006

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This paper looks at social capital in the context of migration. It challenges the view that critical processes of social changes such as migration undermine and weaken social capital assets. It shows how transnational networks are strengthened and maintained, and social norms enhanced and replicated as a coping strategy in times of social changes. The paper focuses in particular on family ties, ethnicity, gender, household, care and provision. Some of the conclusions may be applied to other contexts, such as emergency situations, conflict situations and contexts of particular hardship

Empowering youth and connecting schools : lessons from the SchoolNet Namibia approach

BALLANTYNE, Peter
February 2004

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Schools in developing countries are beginning to get computers and access to the Internet. This article draws on the SchoolNet Namibia approach and its achievements. It suggests that programmes like this should give priority to the provision of affordable access using open platforms, pay attention to longer term cost of ownership issues, leverage change through partnerships, work closely with governments, involve school principals and teachers, and seek to ensure that necessary capacities are developed in schools themselves

Integrated questionnaire for the measurement of social capital

GROOTAERT, Christiaan
et al
2004

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This paper introduces a tool, the Integrated Questionnaire for the Measurement of Social Capital, with a focus on developing countries. The tool aims to generate quantitative data on six dimensions of social capital as part of a larger household survey. These dimensions are: groups and networks, trust and solidarity, collective action and cooperation, information and communication, social cohesion and inclusion, empowerment and political action. The tool was tested in Albania and Nigeria and the lessons learned are presented

Network perspectives in the evaluation of development interventions : more than a metaphor

DAVIES, Rick
November 2003

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This paper argues for the use of a network perspective in representing and evaluating aid interventions. Commonly used linear evaluation tools such as the logical framework (logframe) or problem tree selectively represent what an agency is trying to do, and then assess particular aspects of the intervention. Social network analysis describes social relationships which, the author contends, is what development is about. The wide range of methods and theories for network analysis means that there are lots of ways of thinking about and describing expected outcomes of interventions. Social network analysis is also very flexible in terms of the scale of the project, and can accomodate non-linear processes of change. This paper presents these five arguments for social network analysis, and then describes next steps for developing a coherent approach to evaluation based on a network perspective

Knowledge and learning in online networks in development : a social capital perspective

CUMMINGS, Sarah
HEEKS, Richard
HUYSMAN, Marleen
2003

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This paper examines the role of electronic networks in facilitating knowledge development and social learning in development, using the concept of social capital. This concept was developed to describe the functioning of groups and societies, and has been applied to online networks outside development. This paper examines three non-development approaches for examining social capital in online networks and communities. It uses elements of these approaches as a basis for a framework tailored to the analysis of online networks in a development context

Social capital and coping with economic shocks : an analysis of stunting of South African children

CARTER, M R
MALUCCIO, J A
2002

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This study explores household coping capacity in relation to social context and community supporting networks, using data on household responses to economic shocks and their effects on child nutritional status. It makes a critical point, supported by evidence, that households in communities with more social capital seem better able to weather economic shocks

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