Making ICTs work in spite of hegemony

This will be my last entry for the time being in, what I hope, has been a series of blogs that somehow follows a linear path in my understanding of the expansive role information and communication technologies (ICTs) play in ‘doing development’. Moving from intent, to influence and finally impact, …

Development photography – mission impossible

Yesterday I wrote about Oxfam’s use of photographs of children in war-torn areas for social media posts. That made me think about when I worked for a Northern development organisation in a developing country, and was asked to collect some photos of a specific vulnerable group that could be used in the Global …

Children as development candy

From time to time the discussion about whether or not Facebook can do what they like with your photos arises (Belam, 2016). I know a lot of people who are a little concerned, especially when it comes to pictures of children. Last month, it was rerported that an 18 year old Austrian girl …

From humanitarian response to sustainable development?

Response to humanitarian disasters is a field that is being revolutionised by communication and information technologies. From hundreds of digital volunteers creating a crisis map during the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, to responses during the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Meier (2015) has analysed how ICTs have …

Visualising data for a better Georgia

It is just before lunch time on October 9th 2016, the day after the parliamentary election in Georgia. In the offices of local NGO JumpStart, in a noisy junction in the centre of capital Tbilisi, a group of volunteers have been busy since 2 a.m. digitalizing the election results and visualizing them in …

Voices from war zones

Can information and communication technologies (ICTs) allow for a more direct, participatory communication of people affected by humanitarian crisis or war and give the ‘voiceless’ a platform to share their stories on their own terms? Humanitarian communication is often as complex as its subject matter, and sometimes stories are spun …

ICTs – Changing the game, changing the players

In my last blog, I attempted to rouse optimism in the ongoing surge of ICTs in development. Who am I trying to convince? Myself, for starters. And this is because it is imperative that these tools produce impact, that they are inclusive and, most importantly, that they do no harm. …