The globalization of the world is accompanied by the globalization of development – as it becomes a global affair, it is encountering the growing pains of change. The infrastructure (backbone) of information, communication, and management systems need to keep up with the heart and tactile feel of development initiatives through local communities on the ground everywhere in the world.
HCI has been involved in the development of multi-sectoral community technology centers in SE Asia. These centers provided an integrated approach that involves social, economic and holistic regeneration.
HCI is supportive of the establishment of networks that reflect the need for partnerships and information sharing. A new global information collaboration forum is necessary to help the church advance as an effective global development community. The arguments for such a forum can be grouped into four categories:
CONTEXT: The need for information to serve and evolve within the context of development communities. This requires better systems to facilitate collaboration among three areas that provide context for development information: the reality and need for information; the information collecting and analysis sector; and the information dissemination sector (media). Typically, the latter has been confined to the internet. It must, however, be considered within a broader framework of print, television, internet, and other emerging media.
DUPLICATION: There is a duplication of effort and competition for scarce resources – without an opportunity to explore a synergistic partnership. It must be clear that creativity, a multiplicity of efforts and initiatives, and even some competition have a healthy impact on development information efforts. Without an overall collaboration facilitation environment, stakeholders had to choose between abandoning their vision to do something collaboratively or abandon collaboration and move ahead with their own agenda. However, the need here is not to eliminate the creativity or choose among many good initiatives. The need is to provide a forum in which these many initiatives can understand each other, and seek to enhance the overall outcome through synergistic partnership.
ACCESS: There is a gap between the collection of information and access to this information through easily accessible media. This is especially true when considering access by stakeholders in the developing world – to information that could help in their frontline efforts. This can only be dealt with effectively through collaboration among several sectors of the information “industry”.
INFRASTRUCTURE: Facilitating collaboration on global proportions requires closely supportive information infrastructures capable of bridging between countries, cultures, languages, economic development levels, and diverse stakeholder challenges.
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