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Tag Archives | International development

Working on a wiki: the Telecentre Knowledge Network

For the past two months I was busy working with Microsoft and telecentre. org to create the Telecentre Knowledge Network, a wiki that

discusses issues facing the global telecentre movement, presents a condensed view of the knowledge about telecentres, and offers activists a place to share the knowledge and wisdom that comes from running telecentres.

(And as is a Canadian entity, “telecentre” is spelled correctly—although it took some getting used to.)

The wiki works like Wikipedia, except that it is for sharing knowledge about a specific field and not the world at large.

As for my contribution, I helped

  • determine how the content from Making the CONNECTION: Scaling Telecenters for Development, written by the Academy for Educational Development, the book upon which the wiki was based, would be adapted to the wiki format
  • design the wiki’s architecture
  • create the style manual and tutorials on using the site
  • decide what features the wiki should have
  • coordinate requirements with the programmer
  • oversee usability testing

Please explore the Telecentre Knowledge Network and tell others about it. Wikis are only effective when people share their knowledge and experiences.

Work in international development, see exotic places, meet interesting people, and Americanize them

This cartoon reminds me of the faux-Army slogan: “Join the Army, see exotic places, meet interesting people, and kill them.” Only instead of shooting the locals, international development consultants develop private-sector partnerships, vocational skills adapted to a developing economy, and social safety nets.

Anyway, it’s a great way to spend five minutes on a Friday afternoon:

There You Go by Oren Ginzburg

Banyan Global launches new development-consulting website

Banyan Global, “a development consulting firm, founded on the principle that integrating expertise and experience from the development community and private sector will achieve a broad and lasting impact,” launched its new website this week.

I wrote and edited a significant portion of the text.

Banyan Global—a women-owned, small business—has four practice areas: Microfinance, the Health Sector, Enterprise Development, and the Financial Sector. It is headquartered in New York City, has staff in Washington, DC, and works in five continents.

And while I’m pitching other blogs…

The Private Sector Development Blog is a collaborative site by members of the World Bank Group. The site features the opinions of subject matter experts about many development-related issues.

And kudos to the World Bank for hosting a site where some of its employees can voice their own opinions (and, I assume, post on work time). Blogs like this one are a great way to create a dialogue and get input from the diverse groups working in a particular field.

Too often business websites are static, never giving readers a reason to return. Not so with a blog.

Now, if only they’d add a hyphen to that compound modifier in the title…

Congressman Kolbe wins Commitment to Development Award

From the Center for Global Development:

Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 Commitment to Development Award. Sponsored by the Center for Global Development and Foreign Policy magazine, the award honors an individual or organization from the rich world that has made a significant contribution to changing attitudes and policies towards the developing world. An expert panel selects the recipient annually.

As I mentioned when I first posted about the award, I voted for Bill and Melinda Gates. Congressman Kolbe is a smarter pick though. The Gates, Bono, Presidents Clinton and Carter, and Doctors Without Borders already get accolades for their work; giving them this award wouldn’t garner any additional attention for international development efforts. Selecting a Republican Congressmen, however, might get some headlines.

Looking for a job in development?

Last night I was having dinner with a friend who is about to get her master’s degree in international affairs and wants to work in development. I suggested she sign up for the Recruiting Center at’s weekly jobs update.

The Development Executive Group has an outstanding website for people looking to crack into that field. Once you register you can have an e-mail of job postings sent to you weekly. This week’s mailing had more than 120 postings from a plethora of companies for jobs throughout the world.

Vote for a development superstar

The Center for Global Development is accepting votes for its annual Commitment to Development Award, which “honors an individual or organization from the rich world who has made a significant contribution to changing attitudes and policies towards the developing world.”

You can vote here (I chose Bill and Melinda Gates).

Jeffrey Sachs to speak about The Millennium Villages Project next week in Washington, DC

Jeffrey SachsDirector of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and noted author on global development, Jeffrey Sachs, is speaking March 14 in Washington, DC. Sachs is a renowned economist, although The Economist, while supportive, has written that sometimes he pushes his theses too far to support his agenda. Regardless, the discussion should be interesting and worth attending.

For more information, check the Center for Global Development’s website.

And while perusing other blogs to see what people had written about Sachs, I found Sonny Khan’s excellent summary of some of Sachs’s main points. While it’s probably not good for business for an editor to stress the value of a graphic over text, “The Giving Gap” graph speaks volumes.

Photo: Courtesy Wikipedia

Olympian donates medal money to Darfur children

As usual, the Winter Olympics were plagued by negative stories—skier Bode Miller’s failures highlighted a disappointing fortnight for the U.S. squad, speedskaters Chad Hendrick and Shani Davis spatted, and their was the inevitable doping scandal.

U.S. speedskater Joey Cheek, however, was a notable exception.

Cheek donated his bonuses—totaling $40,000, a significant sum for someone who competes in a sport that only gets attention once every four years—to Right to Play, a humanitarian organization founded and led by four-time speedskating gold medalist and doctor Johann Olav Koss.

The group describes itself as “an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as a tool for the development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world.”

Some of that money will benefit the children of Darfur. Cheek’s generosity has led to more than $300,000 in matching donations; hopefully those sponsors will follow through on their pledges once the Olympic hoopla fades.

Cheek’s move came at a time that the international community started re-examining the problems in Darfur. Last week The Economist reported that President Bush talked about an increased United States and NATO involvement in the area.

While it’s doubtful that Cheek’s donation led to that move, hopefully it will keep the tragedy there at the forefront of the American consciousness. It’s too bad the deaths of 300,000 people in Africa aren’t a sexy news story.

Thankfully the American athletic delegation had the good sense to select Cheek to carry the flag in today’s closing ceremony.