- Practising Development aims to explore ideas, discuss issues and share learning around research, information and development. Managed by INASP, the views and opinions expressed on Practising Development are those of the individual authors and do not represent those of the organisation.
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Tag Archives: Development
Much has been made of the digital divide limiting progress in developing countries. In the world of research and higher education, this divide becomes particularly pertinent. Where countries in the developed world are rapidly transforming into information societies and knowledge economies, the ability for researchers in developing countries to access and contribute to the wealth of knowledge that is available through the internet can be the key to the relevance, dissemination and impact of their research.
Kim Pyle recently completed an 8 week internship at INASP assessing library websites of African Universities. Global development is a huge topic. And for a recent graduate wanting to get involved, it’s also a very daunting one. So many organisations working in so many different areas – how do you decide where to put your time and energy to make the most difference? When I came across INASP and the work that it does supporting development through research communication, I thought I had managed to narrow the field. However, after eight weeks as an INASP intern, I can definitely say that my view of development has broadened rather than narrowed.
Jonathan Harle is Programmes Manager (Research Capacity) at the Association of Commonwealth Universities A few weeks back, Jonathan Tanner of ODI offered some important observations about the way we talk about development. His plea is that we use the word ‘development’ less (‘it is too easy to hide behind the word ‘development’… it is too easily misunderstood, it doesn’t always mean the same thing…’), to ‘be more precise about the work we do’ and to ‘junk the jargon’. His thrust is that we need to get better at being much clearer about what we mean – not simply use ‘development’ as a catch all which disguises more than it explains. We need to do this not only so those outside the sector can understand but also so we can be clearer amongst ourselves.
An interesting article on the BBC news looks at how some entrepreneurs from East Africa are using mobile apps as loyalty cards that are easily tied to social media and require only a standard text to use – no smartphone necessary! See ‘Kenyan and Ugandan start-ups make location pay its way’ (Fiona Graham, BBC). Caroline Wagner (SciDev.Net) looks at the challenge of making the outcomes of scientific research (especially publications) available to all potential users. See ‘Uncovering the world’s ‘unseen’ science’. ‘“Developing” countries arrested development’ (Hector Torres, Project Syndicate) is a somewhat controversial article on the possibility of revising the group of countries defined as “emerging” and subject to a less restricted regime by the WTO. As a similar point of interest, our own Rebecca Bailey recently posted ‘How do you measure development?’, which questions whether HDI and GNI are good indicators of a country’s development. Finally, Simon McGrath wrote … Continue reading
What does it mean when a country is classed as ‘developed’? It’s certainly not a finite state. For the World Bank a ‘developed’ country is one with a high Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. They then classify countries according to their income level. But this doesn’t tell the whole story – it doesn’t give you the distribution of wealth across a population (like the GINI index or coefficient attempts to do), it just gives a straight average of national income divided by population.