Development 2.0?

There is a TWs group running under this name, apparently managed by the KMG person out posted in Bratislava. The group is somewhat active, thanks in part to this same person’s dynamism.

At any rate, I am not entirely sure what Development 2.0 means, but it does remind me of the now old and obsolete e-development (among many other e’s). In a way, all this renaming and reinvention of old categories into new words (not concepts) has been driven by technological determinism. But that is a separate topic of discussion.

Be that as it may, the latest proposal from Development 2.0 is to have an online course explaining to all of us, regular human beings struggling with the daily ins and outs of work in UNDP, the real meaning and benefits of this idea (or concept?). The messages posted in this regard are here. Here are my comments, which I posted there.


I fully agree with you. Before the “2.0” syndrome hit us a few years ago, we had the “e” syndrome, which was as simple as the former. Add “e” before anything we do, and there you go. We even discussed e-development as a “new” development area back then. The WB even created an e-development unit, which, needless to say, has now morphed back into development (not sure if they have also added the 2.0). At any date, UNDP’s core niche is Human Development, so if we take the metaphor that far, we should now speak of HR 2.0…

We should not forget that ICTs are just a means. A powerful one indeed, but still a means. We should not try to add another priority to UNDP staff working more than full-time. We need to help them enhance what they currently do (after all, all of us in UNDP work on “development” 1.0., 2.0 or 10.1!) using the new technologies -and not limited only to social networks. Using more “techie” jargon to attract the non-techie UNDP crowd (most UNDP staff, BTW) will backfire. Maybe that is partly why TWs have had such a slow uptake… 🙁

In addition, I think we should also distinguish between our internal corporate work and the policy advice and program support we offer to COs. While we can surely use the northern base social networks for our own PR and communications, it will be tough to ask our national counterparts in government to use platforms based in foreign countries subject to the laws of those countries and on which many of us have NO saying whatsoever on the way they are run and managed. There is a vast GOVERNANCE issue here that needs to be addressed.

Finally, as you know, UNDP has been using ICT for Development since the early 1990s. We should certainly try to build on that work, build on the knowledge we have created so far, and avoid repeating some of the mistakes of the past. We need to continue to build our institutional knowledge, and that is where these platforms are essential”.

Cheers, Raúl

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