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Open Development

Open Development: Networked Innovations in International Development

Matthew L. Smith
Katherine M. A. Reilly
foreword by Yochai Benkler
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    Open Development
    Book Description:

    The emergence of open networked models made possible by digital technology has the potential to transform international development. Open network structures allow people to come together to share information, organize, and collaborate. Open development harnesses this power, to create new organizational forms and improve people's lives; it is not only an agenda for research and practice but also a statement about how to approach international development. In this volume, experts explore a variety of applications of openness, addressing challenges as well as opportunities.Open development requires new theoretical tools that focus on real world problems, consider a variety of solutions, and recognize the complexity of local contexts. After exploring the new theoretical terrain, the book describes a range of cases in which open models address such specific development issues as biotechnology research, improving education, and access to scholarly publications. Contributors then examine tensions between open models and existing structures, including struggles over privacy, intellectual property, and implementation. Finally, contributors offer broader conceptual perspectives, considering processes of social construction, knowledge management, and the role of individual intent in the development and outcomes of social models.ContributorsCarla Bonina, Ineke Buskens, Leslie Chan, Abdallah Daar, Jeremy de Beer, Mark Graham, Eve Gray, Anita Gurumurthy, Havard Haarstad, Blane Harvey, Myra Khan, Melissa Loudon, Aaron K. Martin, Hassan Masum, Chidi Oguamanam, Katherine M. A. Reilly, Ulrike Rivett, Karl Schroeder, Parminder Jeet Singh, Matthew L. Smith, Marshall S. SmithCopublished with the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC)

    eISBN: 978-0-262-31961-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Yochai Benkler

    Non-proprietary, self-organizing production has come to play a large role in the construction of the networked environment, networked culture, and the networked social order. Standard setting for both the Internet itself and the World Wide Web is built on non-state, non-proprietary models of organization. The core software utilities that run the World Wide Web rely on free and open source software as do, increasingly, operating systems of servers, smartphones, and embedded computing; enterprise software; and even statistics packages. The basic infrastructure for our synthesized state of knowledge—our age’s encyclopedia—is some combination of Wikipedia and the Google search, itself...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)
    Matthew L. Smith and Katherine M. A. Reilly

    Rebecca Chiao had already been working in Cairo since 2005 with a local nongovernmental organization (NGO) on the problem of sexual harassment when she became a victim herself.¹ It happened while standing at a busy bus stop in Cairo. Nobody moved to help. Nobody said anything.

    In 2009 the majority of NGOs working on the issue of sexual harassment were focused on policy advocacy, trying to create improvements by changing legal frameworks. From Rebecca’s perspective, however, the problem was more social than legal; people had to change their ideas of what is acceptable behavior and what is not. This required...

  6. 2 The Emergence of Open Development in a Network Society
    (pp. 15-50)
    Katherine M. A. Reilly and Matthew L. Smith

    In this chapter we explore the nature of open development by examining how open models are reshaping the way we think about and implement international development. Indeed, the emergence of these novel experiments in the international development space has already begun to demonstrate the potential of open models for initiating positive change. We believe that these new open networked models can, and will be, transformative, but they will not necessarily lead to social good. Indeed, in an era of openness that embraces a diversity of perspectives and dialogue, it is difficult to state conclusively whatsocial goodmeans. Furthermore, their...

  7. Part I Models of Openness

    • 3 Enacting Openness in ICT4D Research
      (pp. 53-78)
      Melissa Loudon and Ulrike Rivett

      This chapter explores the role of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) research in producing “actionable knowledge” for development.¹ We consider how a frame of openness, interpreted here as an active process of engagement, knowledge sharing, and co-creation, might guide ICT4D research. We interrogate a research collaboration called Cell-Life, and its project iDART—Intelligent Dispensing of Anti-retroviral Treatment—as examples of an open approach. Both authors have been directly involved in various capacities in iDART and Cell-Life, and as a result, our analysis is grounded in experience, is reflective, and is part of our ongoing learning.

      As of early...

    • 4 Transparency and Development: Ethical Consumption through Web 2.0 and the Internet of Things
      (pp. 79-112)
      Mark Graham and Håvard Haarstad

      A central problem in contemporary processes of economic globalization is that information about commodities has not been globalized at the same rate as the commodities themselves. Contemporary capitalism conceals the histories and geographies of most commodities from consumers. These consumers rarely have opportunities to gaze backward through the chains of production in order to gain knowledge about the sites of production, transformation, and distribution of products. The complexity of commodity chains leaves us with highly opaque production processes. Transnational companies often strive to maintain this opacity through a separation between the “airbrushed world” communicated through advertising on one hand,¹ and...

    • 5 Open Source Biotechnology Platforms for Global Health and Development: Two Case Studies
      (pp. 113-128)
      Hassan Masum, Karl Schroeder, Myra Khan and Abdallah S. Daar

      Close to ten million children under the age of five die each year. Most of these deaths occur in lower-income countries and are preventable.¹ Chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, are growing in lower-income countries, and they now account for roughly 60 percent of all deaths worldwide.² Yet there is hope for moving forward. Millions of lives have already been saved through vaccinations, public health measures, and drugs.³ Many of these advances can benefit from biotechnology—the use of biological processes for industrial, health, and other purposes.

      This chapter examines the potential of collaborative open source biotechnology...

    • 6 Open Educational Resources: Opportunities and Challenges for the Developing World
      (pp. 129-170)
      Marshall S. Smith

      Over 500,000 students, professors, and life-long learners a month visit OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCW-C) websites, which contain free and reusable course materials published by over 150 institutions of higher education. The content spans fifteen thousand university courses in seven languages from institutions in over forty-five countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, China, India, and other developing nations.¹

      The Khan Academy website and its YouTube channel house over three thousand short, five-to-fifteen minute free and reusable videos with problem sets and material for teachers that taken together cover almost all of the mathematics and science found in US kindergarten to...

  8. II Openness in Tension

    • 7 Establishing Public-ness in the Network: New Moorings for Development—A Critique of the Concepts of Openness and Open Development
      (pp. 173-196)
      Parminder Jeet Singh and Anita Gurumurthy

      The termopennessis uniquely associated with the new communication paradigm made possible by the Internet. As the disruptive influence of Internet-based information and communication technologies (ICTs) is felt across social structures and institutions, the dominant techno-utopian vision of openness carries the promise of unbridled freedom. But does the concept ofopenness, or more specifically, related ideas likeopen societyandopen development, provide useful points of departure for thinking about social change and development in the information society? In this chapter we focus on some recent theorizations of openness in relation to development, especially the hypothesis thatopen social...

    • 8 Centering the Knowledge Peripheries through Open Access: Implications for Future Research and Discourse on Knowledge for Development
      (pp. 197-222)
      Leslie Chan and Eve Gray

      Open Access (OA), or free online access, to scholarly and scientific publications has emerged as a significant global movement since the twenty-first century began.¹ OA has also become an area of special interest to the development community, given that access to knowledge is fundamental to all aspects of human development, from health to food security, and from education to social capacity building. The potential of OA to dramatically improve the visibility, usage and, therefore, the impact of publicly funded research is also increasingly recognized by national and international funding bodies, aid agencies, and institutions of higher learning. This has led...

    • 9 Open Government and Citizen Identities: Promise, Peril, and Policy
      (pp. 223-248)
      Aaron K. Martin and Carla M. Bonina

      New information and communication technologies (ICTs) promise an era of remarkable and unprecedented change for developing countries around the world, particularly in terms of their capacity to facilitate channels of connectivity, information sharing, and communication between individuals, civil society groups, business organizations, and governments. These new technologies may play an essential role in the near future in enabling new forms of government transparency, citizen participation, collaboration, service provision, and accountability. This is precisely what the advocates of open government suggest.¹

      We repeatedly hear reports on the positive roles that technologies including mobile phones and online social media are already playing...

    • 10 Open Minds: Lessons from Nigeria on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Development
      (pp. 249-272)
      Jeremy de Beer and Chidi Oguamanam

      General understanding of the relationship between intellectual property rights (IPRs) and development has changed significantly in recent years. For decades international intellectual property (IP) discourse has been influenced by the belief that development requires strong IP protection and that IP protection invariably causes development. IP is, in the words of a former World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) director general, “a power tool for economic growth.”¹ The simplistic impression that more IP protection necessarily drives development was one putative reason that international minimum standards were regularly ratcheted up throughout the twentieth century. Developed countries, with the help of key private sector...

  9. III Constructing Openness

    • 11 Negotiating Openness across Science, ICTs, and Participatory Development: Lessons from the AfricaAdapt Network
      (pp. 275-296)
      Blane Harvey

      The advent of new information and communication technologies—particularly of online Web 2.0 technologies that allow for a plurality of information sources and contributors from multiple devices—has stimulated the imagination of practitioners from a wide range of fields, including international development and the sciences. Through these new platforms lies the potential for groups once understood simply asend usersorconsumersof information to become active participants and producers, assuming multiple roles as they view, respond to, amend, and share content within and among different communities of interest or practice. This has led to claims that Web 2.0 represents...

    • 12 Open Data, Knowledge Management, and Development: New Challenges to Cognitive Justice
      (pp. 297-326)
      Katherine M. A. Reilly

      According to Tim Berners-Lee, the year 2010 saw the emergence of a “worldwide open data movement.”¹ The buzz around open data has been building for some time now, driven by larger debates over proprietary versus open systems of production. It has also been moved forward by specific events, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy’s Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding signed by thirty-four countries on January 30, 2004, and, U.S. president Barack Obama’s Open Government Initiative which was put into motion on his first day in office...

    • 13 Open Development Is a Freedom Song: Revealing Intent and Freeing Power
      (pp. 327-352)
      Ineke Buskens

      Events since the year 2008 give cause for reflection about the nature of the global economy and its impact on our world. As we look back on the global financial crisis of 2008 from the perspective of the U.S. credit rating crisis of 2011, it has become apparent that the global systems of finance, production, and governance face real limits. But until this series of crises was upon us, the majority of people, among them even economic experts, were apparently unaware of the impending collapse. For the billions of people who contributed their labor, time, energy and genius, and who...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 353-354)
  11. Index
    (pp. 355-370)