Daily Archives: 11 July 2007

Blogging about Development & Human Rights

Young girls studying computing, Kenya

Apologies for the protracted silence, which was due to personal circumstances. I hope those of you who read my blog regularly didn’t panic too much!

I have finally put together an online survey related to my final dissertation, which will focus on how international NGOs are using Web 2.0 tools – such as blogging, wikis, RSS feeds, social networking sites, etc. – in their everyday work and how they expect these applications to change the way they work and the role of NGOs in development.

If you are an NGO working internationally, please drop me a note (A.Masetti-Zannini@lse.ac.uk) so I can email you the survey’s web-address.

So far, I’ve interviewed a couple of organisations directly, including WOMANKIND Worldwide, whose new director – Sue Turrell – has recently started blogging on the work of her organisation and on promoting the role of women in development more generally. You can access it here. I’ve also interviewed the Overseas Development Institute, which runs one of the most popular blogs in the international development sector. A must-read from one of the top UK public affairs think tanks.

Most NGOs, however, have received a general email from me, asking them to complete the survey online. Amongst the best responses I’ve had so far, this one stands out in terms of clarity and enthusiasm:

I know very little about any of these applications and am not at all interested in using them is the short answer. I haven’t got time to do your survey.
Xxxxxx Xxxx, Director


As a means to share some of the results of my research with you online, I am going to update this entry with the list of blogs and other Web 2.0 applications NGOs are accessing in their work. Hopefully, by the end of the month I will have put together a significant list that will be useful to people working in this sector. So here goes…

Blogs regularly read by international NGO staff members about development-related issues:

  1. Social Edge (which has in fact 6 different and fascinating blogs: Engage in Uganda, Forging Ahead, From Tribeca to Tanzania, Global X, Kiva Chronicles and Untangled);
  2. TreeHugger (which describes itself as the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream);
  3. StyleWillSaveUs (the digital style magazine magazine that loves all things super-stylish, organic, ethical, fairtrade, eco-friendly, vintage, recycled and sustainable);
  4. Comment is Free (The Guardian’s popular discussion space);
  5. Owen’s Blog (not sure what blog they are referring to here, possibly this one, but it’s all in Chinese and my Chinese is a little rusty these days…);
  6. Open Veins (social movements and international development in Bolivia and the broader Latin American region)

Blogs maintained by international NGOs (+ their corresponding organisation and main focus):