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NGO 2.0 - I like that term

Have a look what I came across today:

Blogswana is a one-year pilot project and plans to work with a group of about 20 university students from one of the major universities in Botswana, and provide them with blogging and journalism expertise. The students must commit to a year of blogging for others. Each student participant will start one blog for themselves and another for their partner (the person for whom they will blog). Each partner will be one of the many people in Botswana who has been affected in some way by the AIDS virus.

This project blog is a fascinating read, and has created a clever term, which combines the transformation of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and conventional NGO work into NGO 2.0, read the motivation for this term here.

I see this as an extremely worthwhile project, one which we should keep an eye out for and see where it is heading. It redefines NGO work and integrates it into the virtual sphere and is another means of bridging the digital divide. I would like to know if the students also start teaching their partners how to use computers and blogs in order to steer this project into a self sustaining and long-term initiative?

Pic by gillstrawberry


  1. Blogger Curt Hopkins | Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:07:00 pm |  

    Hey Gregor: We hadn't really considered the idea of the bloggers teaching their partners. Our idea was the partners would not be people who would blog for a number of reasons. Those include lack of connectivity (rural folks), lack of equipment, illiteracy, time constraints (farmers and emergency room doctors, for example, don't have a lot of time on their hands). However, now that you mention it, we will keep it in mind and discuss it with the students. Any time where it's possible and desireable, we'll encourage it. Our idea of transmission, though, was primarily that after the one year pilot project ended that the standouts in the project (people with a demonstrated aptitude for the tech, the communication and teaching) would go on to lead the project in future years. We also expect, and will encourage, the students to both continue using these technologies and to share it with friends, family and future co-workers. Anyway, thanks for contributing to the conversation.

  2. Blogger Gregor | Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:37:00 pm |  

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Blogger Gregor | Sunday, May 07, 2006 7:18:00 pm |  

    Hi Curt. Thank you for your comment. I think even thou the biggest problem that we face, and as you state, is, "lack of connectivity, lack of equipment, illiteracy, time constraints" if you start training/ teaching basic skills now it might help bridge the digital divide at a later stage, but some basic knowledge will be present then at least.

    I was part of a project creating empowerment via citizen journalism (with set up community blogs) in the rural communities of Grahamstown last year and one thing which was noticeable was the lack of continuity when the course was over. During the time we (journalism) students were involved we noticed great progress and community upliftment, yet when the term was over, the project fell apart and I have the feeling we might have caused some anguish and disappointment. Needless to say it was a structural fault in the project planning – where as the re-evaluation stated that if we would have pushed educating the community they might have been able to produce their own work once we were done.

    Hopefully, with the possible integration of olpc and other potential technological advancements this type of training / educating programme could work more effectively in future.

  4. Blogger Curt Hopkins | Monday, May 08, 2006 2:19:00 am |  

    Gregor: Are you from RSA or just went there to do the project? Sorry to hear it fell off afterward but I think yes you do have to have some mechanism built in to perpetuate it (if it is something people can use). Hey, that 2.0 logo is great. How do you feel about my absconding with it and offering it to people to put on their sites who identify their undertaking as NGO 2.0? I would give you credit of course. --Curt

  5. Blogger Curt Hopkins | Monday, May 08, 2006 2:26:00 am |  

    OK. That must have read crazy. For some reason I read your college as "New School" (which is in NYC). I get it now. At any rate, get back to me about the logo. my email is curthopkins[at]comcast[dot]net.

  6. Blogger Gregor | Tuesday, May 09, 2006 11:02:00 am |  

    Hi Curt, great, please go ahead and use the logo! Glad you like it!