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  1. 1. CC image by ecstaticist courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecstaticist/1337749333/ Harnessing Collective Intelligence for Sustainable Development Stuart Macdonald EDINA & Data Library University of Edinburgh [email_address] ICT and e-Knowledge for the Developing World , Shanghai, China, 27 September 2010
  2. 2. PC powered by car battery charged by solar panels CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Image courtesy of Inveneo: http://wiki.inveneo.org/index.php/Image:Solar-battery-computer.gif <ul><li>ICT4D – Information Communication Technologies for Development </li></ul><ul><li>- the application of computing within the field of socioeconomic or international development. </li></ul><ul><li>ICT4D 0.0: 1950s to late-1990s. Main-frame computing / data processing. </li></ul><ul><li>ICT4D 1.0: late-1990s to 2010. Millennium Development Goals and Internet </li></ul><ul><li>ICT4D 2.0: 2010 onwards – emergence of mobile technologies and the focus on the poor as producers and innovators with ICTs (as opposed to just consumers of information). </li></ul>
  3. 3. Harnessing Collective intelligence One of Tim O'Reilly's seven principles in the noteworthy 2005 article, What Is Web 2.0 . “ the synergistic and cumulative channelling of the vast human and technical resources now available over the internet to address systemic problems” * Combining people, new technologies and information for the common good! * Harnessing Collective Intelligence to Address Global Climate Change (2007), Malone, T.W. & Klein, M.,Innovations: Technology, Governance and Globalization, Summer 2007, Vol. 2, No. 3, Pages 15-26. URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/itgg.2007.2.3.15
  4. 4. <ul><li>Socio-technical concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 (or participatory web!) – tools and </li></ul><ul><li>services that enable user interaction and </li></ul><ul><li>collaboration, information sharing, </li></ul><ul><li>i nteroperation between web applications using </li></ul><ul><li>the web as a platform </li></ul><ul><li>Social media / social networking – </li></ul><ul><li>Channels and technologies include: blogs, </li></ul><ul><li>picture-sharing, vlogs,email, instant </li></ul><ul><li>messaging, music- sharing, social networking </li></ul><ul><li>sites, data visualisation tools, virtual </li></ul><ul><li>communities, and voice over IP etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Crowd funding (also called crowd </li></ul><ul><li>financing ) – the cooperation of people who </li></ul><ul><li>pool their money together, usually via the </li></ul><ul><li>Internet, in order to support efforts initiated </li></ul><ul><li>by other people or organisations. </li></ul>CC image by Sean McGrath courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcgraths/3597037843/
  5. 5. Image by Blogging Dagger courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bloggingdagger/3937076329/ Socio-technical concepts Crowdsourcing - the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large voluntary group of people or community (the crowd). Citizen science - projects in which individual volunteers or networks of volunteers, many of whom may have no specific scientific training, perform research-related tasks such as observation, measurement or computation. Mashups / APIs - the combining (“mashing”) of two or more pieces of complementing data or web functionalities to create a new web application or service. This is usually achieved through the use of an Application Programming Interface (API). Open Access
  6. 6. CC image by Myxi courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/myxi/4623192231/ <ul><li>Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnos Project – http://www/ethnosproject.org - an advocacy and information source focussing on the ways ICT are being used to: </li></ul><ul><li>affect social change </li></ul><ul><li>sustain and stimulate disappearing traditions of indigenous people </li></ul><ul><li>improve quality of life for people on their own cultural terms </li></ul><ul><li>Site for scholars, activists, government agencies, NGOs, indigenous groups </li></ul><ul><li>Resource database containing items related to ICT for social change, open developments, mobile innovations, technologies & publications </li></ul>
  7. 7. CC image by Darwin Bell courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/300495624/ Social Media cont’d Kabissa – http://www.kabissa.org/ Kabissa is a volunteer-led NGO that promotes ICT to empower and connect people and organisations for positive change in Africa. Kabissa provide a hosting services, capacity-building through a training curriculum and manual, in addition to connecting people and organisations throughout Africa using a social media platform People and organizations maintain their own profile pages, participate in group blogs, discussion lists, and find out about relevant technological tools and strategies through peer learning and sharing. Similar orgs include: Zunia - http://zunia.org/
  8. 8. CC image by Malkav courtesy of Flickr – http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2370/2262952280_0b03c07db9_o.jpg <ul><li>Crownfunding Initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Kiva – http://www.kiva.org/ - combines microfinance with the internet to create a global network of people connected through lending: </li></ul><ul><li>Kiva partners with microfinance organisations (Field partners) </li></ul><ul><li>Field partners know the local area & distribute loans to entrepreneurs from their own pocket </li></ul><ul><li>Field partners collect entrepreneur stories, pictures, loan details and post to Kiva.org. </li></ul><ul><li>Lenders browse loan requests and select those they’d like to fund. </li></ul><ul><li>Kiva aggregates the funds from lenders & gives them to the Field partner </li></ul><ul><li>Field partners use the funds to replenish the loan already made to the entrepreneur. </li></ul><ul><li>Field partner also collects repayments from entrepreneurs as well as interest due. Interest rates are set by the Field partner. </li></ul><ul><li>Kiva doesn’t charge interest to Field partners & doesn’t provide interest to lenders. </li></ul><ul><li>Kiva credit lenders from Field Partner accounts with loan repayment. Lenders can re-lend, donate to Kiva or withdraw funds via PayPal. </li></ul>
  9. 9. CC images by Grant MacDonald courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/grantmac/2734755871 Kopernik – http:// www.thekopernik.org – an on-line store of innovative technologies (e.g. solar powered products, water purification devices) <ul><li>Samasource forms partnerships with local organisations that provide computers and basic training. Partners must be: </li></ul><ul><li>located in high-poverty regions, </li></ul><ul><li>keep most of the funds earned in that region </li></ul><ul><li>adhere to conduct and reporting guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Samasource have 800 skilled Field Associates worldwide that train workers, who in turn must demonstrate proficiency in a range of skills before they are admitted to the worker pool. </li></ul> Samasource – http://samasource.org - aims to bring small amounts of computer-based tasks (‘microwork’) to women, youths and refugees living in poverty. Services include data entry, book digitisation, internet-based research, audio transcription, video captioning
  10. 10. CC images by Just.Luc courtesy of Flickt – http://www.flickr.com/photos/9619972@N08/2568676552/sizes/m/in/photostream/ Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Grameen Foundation – http://grameenfoundation.org – provides micro-lenders in poor communities access to the capital they need to make micro-loans to women who are working to develop or expand a small business. As clients repay their micro-loan, the funds are recycled into new loans The GF Application Laboratory provides services using mobile technologies which allow people to access information on topics such as health, agriculture e.g. through text messaging a farmer can receive tips on treating crop diseases, learn local market prices, get advice on preventing malaria. Applications can also be used to collect information e.g. surveys conducted by mobile phones can be used to collect information on access to health services or types of crop grown in a specific region.
  11. 11. CC image by Tuis courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tuis_imaging/515380689/ <ul><li>Africa@home – </li></ul><ul><li>http://africa-at-home.web.cern.ch </li></ul><ul><li>a website for volunteer computing projects which allow your computer to contribute to African humanitarian causes </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer computing aims to utilise the spare capacity of home PCs that are primarily idle most of the time to solve scientific or resource intensive problems (most famous project is SETI@home). </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers download Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Networking Computing (BOINC) software from the web. </li></ul><ul><li>The Malaria Control Project is a grid computing project run by Africa@home – harnessing computing power of 1000s of people around the world to help improve the ability of researchers to predict (through simulations) the spread of malaria in Africa </li></ul>Citizen Science
  12. 12. CC images courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/11304375@N07/2326596014/ Credit: M. M. Alvarez, T. Shinbrot, F. J. Muzzio, Rutgers University, Center for Structured Organic Composites   Mashups and APIs Ushahidi – http://www.ushahidi.com – builds tools for ‘democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering barriers’ Create an easy way of aggregating information from the public for use in a crisis response Ushahidi have developed a free and open source application using the web as platform for crisis situations and other events in users’ own locales. The Ushahidi platform allows anyone to gather distributed data e.g. SMS, email, digital photograph, microblog entry and visualise it on a map or timeline.
  13. 13. Submit an incident Category of incident RSS, email, mobile Images of missing people Person finder tool OpenStreetMap visualisation of reported incidents
  14. 14. CC image by Ecstaticist courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecstaticist/321582062/ Enterprising technologies Low-cost WiFi-based Long Distance Networks (WiLDNets) as developed by UC Berkeley technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions (TIER) program) – alternative to traditional connectivity solutions for rural regions. Uses point-to-point wireless links that use modified, retail networking products (e.g. home WiFi routers) and high-gain directional antennas with line of sight over long distances Delay (or Disruption) Tolerant Networking (DTN) - seeks to address the technical issues in heterogeneous networks that may lack continuous network connectivity. E.g networks that are operating in mobile or extreme terrestrial environments. By using persistent storage within the network, DTN helps to cope with network outage or long delays. DTN protocols take care of restarting a failed or partially-completed transmission when connectivity is restored, saving the application from having to continuously retry. Speech-based interfaces – workers who lack the skill and necessary training to perform essential practices. The Hesperian Foundation working with CITRIS Berkeley have found that interactive speech-based interfaces that engage users in dialogue are more persuasive than interfaces which simply play recorded messages. They have successfully ported an open-source speech-recognizer to a mobile smartphone platform. Multiple Mice – In most developing countries children do not have access to computers. Those that do almost never have individual access to computers, and instead share a single one among multiple children. Research in rural India showed that, in shared computer scenarios, there are clear patterns of inequality in learning for children based on who controls the input. UC Berkeley in collaboration with Microsoft research India (MSRI) have developed multiple mice for children’s learning scenarios. MSRI tested multiple mice learning scenarios and found that for word-image association, children learned more in shared modes with multiple input devices than thet did even when each child had a dedicated computer.
  15. 15. CC image by niznoz courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/niznoz/2280975/ Enterprising technologies Bushmail - worldwide e-mail that works via HF Radio powered by a 12-Volt battery, with an antenna suspended from a tree. It can also be used in a vehicle, with a Laptop PC being powered and charged from the cigarette lighter plug. It is extremely robust and runs in remote areas. A ruggedized computer is a computer specifically designed to operate in harsh environments and conditions, such as strong vibrations, extreme temperatures, and wet or dusty conditions. It can be of many forms including stand-alone bench or desktop units, rack-mount systems, laptops, PDAs, wearable systems Audio Wiki – a repository of spoken content that can be accessed and modified via low-cost telephone. Content is purely audio (from entry to playback) thus accessible to illiterate and supports any language. Users can create, edit and listen to content without having to read any text. Navigation is through a hybrid of keypad navigation and speech recognition
  16. 16. <ul><li>Reality Check </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers to introducing ICT to BOP * groups in marginalised areas: </li></ul><ul><li>lack of infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>lack of health services </li></ul><ul><li>lack of employment </li></ul><ul><li>hunger </li></ul><ul><li>illiteracy </li></ul><ul><li>corruption and exploitation </li></ul><ul><li>applications not being user friendly </li></ul><ul><li>training </li></ul><ul><li>lack of support from governing bodies </li></ul><ul><li>(Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICT4D) </li></ul>CC images by philippe Put courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/34547181@N00/4203882645/sizes/z/in/photostream/ / * Bottom or base of the pyramid - the largest, but poorest socio-economic group. In global terms, this is the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2.50 per day - http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats '...the debate over the digital divide is founded on myth - that plugging poor countries into the internet will help them to become rich rapidly ... even if it were possible to wave a magic wand and cause a computer to appear in every household on earth, it would not achieve very much, a computer is not useful if you have no food or electricity and cannot read .' - The Economist (March 2005)
  17. 17. Thank You! [email_address] EDINA National Data Centre: http://edina.ac.uk All images CC Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic or Attribution 2.0 Generic CC image by monkeyc.net courtesy of Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/monkeyc/216415962/
  18. 18. NGOs United Nations High Commission for Refugees – Google Earth Layers - http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c4d3.html geospatial tool focuses on refugees and displaced people located in remote areas of Chad, Iraq, Colombia and Sudan's volatile Darfur region. Highlighted are not only the physical area of the camp and surrounding country, but key parts of daily life such as education and health in photo, text and video format. Google Earth Outreach gives non-profits and public benefit organizations the knowledge and resources they need to visualize their cause and tell their story in Google Earth & Maps to the hundreds of millions of people who use them - http://earth.google.com/outreach/index.html InfoDev (World Bank) - a global development financing program among international development agencies, coordinated and served by the Global ICT Department (GICT) of the World Bank. It acts as a neutral convener of dialogue, and as a coordinator of joint action among bilateral and multilateral donors—supporting global sharing of information on ICT for development (ICT4D), and helping to reduce duplication of efforts and investments. info Dev also forms partnerships with public and private-sector organizations who are innovators in the field of ICT4D. - http://www.infodev.org/

Notes de l'éditeur

  • EDINA is one of the two JISC-funded National Data Centres in the UK based at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland This is a particularly large and emotive topic to discuss in 20 minutes. There are many initiatives, utilities and emerging technologies that I’ll not have time to cover. I will however try to be representative in terms of the types of utilities and web services available. So what I’ll endeavour to do introduce some socio-technical or Web 2.0 concepts provide examples of organisations that are facilitating this process through innovative approaches
  • ICT4D is an interdisciplinary research area in its own right
  • Or as some people say it should be about unharnessing collective intelligence As a facilitator or enabling technology on a large scale using the web as platform
  • e.g. blogs, wikis, social networking sites, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups, numeric and spatial visualisation utilities Steering clear of the semantic web which expresses relationships between web objects using ontologies and fixed or standard vocabularies
  • Extends the analogy of outsourcing work for economic gain using cheaper labour
  • Places people can go for and interact with information on development-related issues A range of Collaborative projects, blogs, content communities, social networking sites – follow on Twitter, facebook, RSS Social Media - Portal linking to videos on related subjects RSS feeds, tag clouds etc Ethnos project particularly focussed upon information for indigenous peoples across the world
  • Free account, subscribe to newsletters and participate in interest groups
  • Microfinance orgs across the globe whose mission it is to alleviate poverty Field partners must adhere tp Kiva’s regulations Kopernik - The public fund the most promising proposals in order to make them a reality Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low-income clients, including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services. Those who promote microfinance generally believe that such access will help poor people out of poverty StormPay, Clickbank, Paymate – micropayment sites
  • with a footprint in 36 nations Grameen aims to help the world’s poorest (esp. women) through access to microfinance and technology. Such information can provide a detailed understanding of the challenges faced by poor communities and equip service providers with the knowledge they need to better serve the poor
  • Volunteer computing also known as public resource computing, cycle scavenging or @home computing – many volunteer computing projects in existance One of the main sponsors is CERN, Software without Borders) Software acts as a screensaver which periodically uploads results (during an idle time) and downloads output to
  • User Generated Content Channel information from various online sources into one ‘portal’ for use in a crisis situation
  • Necessity is the mother of invention
  • The Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include eradicating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development.[1]
  • Other Cultural and social contexts including religion So what I’ve just been describing is encouraging and full of altruistic intent however lets put things into perspective to an extent – there’s still a lot to do, technology will take us part of the way but the rest is down to us, the individuals who can contribute and particiapte.