Using ICTs for knowledge sharing and collaboration: an international experience based on Bellanet’s work in the South
Margarita Salas Guzmán
Bellanet International Secretariat is a multi-donor initiative created with the mission to promote and facilitate effective collaboration within the international development community, especially through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) from its four offices in Canada, Costa Rica, Nepal and Uganda. Bellanet has put its efforts into ways of collaborating and tapping into knowledge that can be shared by people, using both digital-based technologies and face-to-face methods. By participating in sharing processes, individuals, organizations, and networks in international development can create new knowledge that is meaningful for their context and that solves their needs. Knowledge sharing can increase accountability, reduce duplication of effort, and lead to better use of development resources. Three concrete experiences on the use of ICTs for knowledge sharing and collaboration are presented: a knowledge sharing workshop in La Catalina, Costa Rica; the Collecting and Exchanging Local Agricultural Content Project in Uganda; and the Asia Commons Conference which took place in 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand. Lessons from these three case are presented, together with some future challenges facing the use of ICTs in the global South.
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