Development aid 2.0

10/2/2007 | Christian Kreutz

I was interviewed by the Deutsche Welle (German version) last week during the web2fordev conference. As a result from the interview, an interesting article was deutsche-welle.png published (Entwicklungshilfe 2.0) in which not only the potential of web2.o in the context of development is discussed, but it is also questioned whether web2.o will do a shift to development aid in general. Interesting point I thought, and a bit visionary. "With the access to information," the author writes, "development aid can come closer to its goal to help for self help."

The articles also describes a bit the work of Kabissa in Africa, and emphasizes the potentials for organisations to network more effectively and share knowledge. I know, from my working experience with civil society in Egypt, that cooperation between civil society is a key factor, therefore I am very curious to see how this will develop within the next years. Right now it seems to me that it is often driven by the diaspora or development agencies although there are many great grassroot initiatives.

The article in general does not grasp exactly the implications of we2.0 for development aid. It mixes up different notions of development. But, on the other hand, it highlights the two way conversation for development and what it could mean for development organizations to be much better connected with beneficiaries and obtain direct feedback. But as I questioned before on a panel of the web2fordev conference, "Web2.0 offers and relies on open communication and knowledge sharing. Therefore it has great potential for participation and innovation. But are development organizations ready for this kind of openness?"

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