Designing and Implementing Online Collaboration Tools in West Africa

Designing and Implementing Online Collaboration Tools in West Africa

Caitlin M. Bentley (Royal Holloway University of London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2515-0.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter explores how the Web 2.0 principle of the Web as a platform was applied in the context of a development aid-funded project aimed to enhance online collaboration capacities of 17 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in five West African Nations. The main issues confronted in the project related to the linear project design and a misconceptualisation of technology as an input, thus separating the design and implementation processes from the ultimate collaboration aims that are desired outcomes. It is therefore argued that technology-mediated collaboration initiatives within development cooperation contexts can draw from underlying Web 2.0 principles, but that these principles could more usefully be linked to development concepts in order to further enable critical reflection by primary stakeholders, so as to include them in all aspects of technology design. By focusing less on technology provision and more on the capacity of users to assess their own emergent needs has potentially more important long-term collaboration impacts.

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