Web 2.0 for development

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Participatory Web 2.0 for development in short Web2forDev is a way of employing web services, in order to improve information sharing and collaborative production of content in the context of development work. In this context actors in development can easily relate to other stakeholders, have selective access to information, produce and publish their own content and redistribute pieces of content released by others. They can integrate, combine, aggregate, generate, moderate and mediate content. In a typical Web2forDev scenario data and/or functionalities from a number of free/low cost online applications are combined and served as mashups thus ensuring a wide range of online services at low cost.



Web2forDev was first used as a term at the Web2forDev International Conference organised by CTA and other development partners in Rome at FAO in September 2007. The event was organised by The Association for Progressive Communications, The ACP Secretariat, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) ACP-EU, Euforic, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Institute for Communication and Development, University of British Columbia, Okanagan and Université Cheikh Anta DIOP.

Technology Overview

Open source and proprietary, free or low-cost interactive user centered applications that promote communication, online collaboration, sharing information, user empowerment, and social networking. Considering the constraints which affect many developing countries, Web2forDev applications are usually low-bandwidth friendly. There's a revolution that is vitally transforming the way business and enterprise utilize the Web. Something like an enormous software upgrade for the entire Web and it's called Web 2.0. The web is shifting from just being an intermediate in which information is transmitted and consumed, into being a platform in which content is shaped, shared, remixed, repurposed, and passed along. Various companies have started understanding that the social side of change, including personal networks and developing trusting relationships, might prove to be the most powerful strategy for promotion. The new Web 2.0 Business ground rules include an increasing focus on knowledge, trust, relationships, and communities which in many senses is the true structure of today's organization. Web 2.0 applications are changing the way the world communicates allowing consumers to share opinions, wants, needs and motivations.


[[Web 2.0]] applications are used in the development sector for a number of purposes and by different actors. Examples are ...

  • Internet/SMS gateways are being used to distribute development-related information to people with access to mobile phones but without access to internet. Similarly, these gateways enable mobile phone users to make their presence on the internet by posting to blogs and online databases via sms, etc.
  • Tagging systems and content aggregation enable users with access to only low-bandwidth to find quickly the information they are searching for, without having to navigate through many bandwidth-demanding websites.
  • Users with old computers can take advantage of some online applications which can process their computing tasks the way their computers never could (eg. online version of Adobe Photo shop)
  • Users who don't own their own PCs are using online services to store all their data, such as emails, documents, photos, etc, thus having access to them from any computer connected to internet. That way, online storage spaces and related services substitute physical hard drive spaces (PCs) which in many regions are shared by many users.


See also

*Information and Communication Technologies for Development


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Ashley H., Corbett J, Garside B, Jones D and Rambaldi G.2009. Change at hand: Web 2.0 for development, PLA issue 59, IIED/CTA, London, UK

Further reading

==External links==

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