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Development 2.0? Participation and ICTs in a network organization
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Participatory communication through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has been identified to enhance self-dependency and equality for local communities in development projects. As well, ICTs served as an accelerator for citizen participation in social movements, such as in Egypt. However, it is still questionable how participation and ICTs are understood on a global scale where structural inequalities between developing and developed countries might influence communication processes.

Similarly, international organizations often address a global network of stakeholders with various economic and social backgrounds. However, it is unclear how participatory communication and ICTs are used in global organizations aiming to foster sustainable development. Hence, this thesis investigates the understanding and practices of participatory communication and the role of ICTs in a global network organization, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) based in Stockholm.

The GWPs network consists of 2964 institutional partners in 172 countries worldwide. It can be seen that the GWP aims to achieve dialogic communication with local partners, but that they do not have a mechanism that ensures continuous participation in all working processes, although the local partners demand more possibilities to contribute and participate. As well, ICTs play a minor role in addressing the GWP network. In fact, most of the partner organizations do not have reliable internet access and insufficient English literacy, which makes communication through ICTs especially challenging.This suggests that globally operating organizations should be careful not to reproduce existing power relationship between developed and developing countries through the use of ICTs. As well, more mechanisms need to be established which ensure more participation in organization’s processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 96 p.
Keyword [en]
Participatory Communication, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), Non-government organization (NGO), Communication for development, ICTs for development, digital divide, network organization
National Category
Media and Communications Communication Studies Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-226029DiVA: diva2:723415
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2014-06-12 Created: 2014-06-10 Last updated: 2014-06-12Bibliographically approved

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