Development 2.0?

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There is a TWs group running under this name, apparently managed by the KMG person who is outposted in Bratislava. The group is a bit active thanks in part thanks to the dynamism of this same person.

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 separate topic of discussion.

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

“Gillian,

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. Just add “e” before anything we do and there you go. Back then, we even discussed e-development as a “new” development area. And the WB even created a 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 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 yet another priority to UNDP staff that already are working more than full-time. What we need to is is 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 (the vast majority of UNDP staff BTW) will back fire. Maybe that is partly why TWs has had as such a slow uptake… 🙁

In addition, I think we should also distinguish between our own internal corporate work and the policy advise and programme support we offer to COs. While we can surely use the northern base social networks for our own PR and communications, it will be very difficult 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 huge GOVERNANCE issue here that needs to be addressed.

Finally, as you are aware UNDP has been doing ICT for Development since the early 1990s. We should certainly try to build on that work to build on the knowledge we have created so far and avoid repeating the 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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