Thursday, January 30, 2003


Given that the topic of this blog is Knowledge for Development, and given that there is so much information on the World Wide Web, it occurs to me that I might share some thoughts about websites that are good sources for information on development. Of course, all the large bilateral and multilateral development organizations have websites with considerable amounts of such information.

Most people searching the web use search engines, especially I do so myself, but a search using such an engine may turn up thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of resources. They have algorithms that specify the order of presentation, but I think those algorithms fail to meet the needs of many people interested in international development, and the studies suggest that the search results from such engines are often used simplistically.

There are a number of websites that have been specifically developed to guide users to high value development information. I will mention a few:

The Development Gateway
This is where I am spending my time, and it has many resources:
· AIDA: a data base allowing access to information on several hundred thousand projects funded by development agencies;
· DgMarket: a source of information on procurement plans of development projects;
· Country Gateways: links to more than 40 development portals located in developing nations, and devoted to the development of those nations;
· Topic Specific Resources: more than 20 Topic pages, each with warranted resources, numbering from more than 100 to several thousand;
· Topic Specific Member lists: providing information on and links to members of these topic specific communities, numbering 40,000 plus in total, with several thousand in specific topic communities.

The Eldis Gateway to Development Information
Today the site reports that it contains links to 11,735 Reviewed documents,
4,470 Organisations, and 123,324 Web pages. These are organized by major topics, corresponding to the standard taxonomies of development issues.

Euforic: The European Forum on International Cooperation
This site has resources organized by theme, links to development organizations that can be accessed by a number of routes, and other resources.

E-Community Link to Bridge the Digital Divide
While this site focuses on ICT for Development, its section titled “Social Entrepreneurs” has many resources, organized by topic.

The id21 Development Research reporting service provides a selection from UK-based development research.

The OneWorld database contains tens of thousands of documents from the partners' websites, which can be accessed by topic or geographical terms.

The World Wide Web Virtual Library
The Virtual Library has many facets, each maintained by a different individual. Several are of interest for development. Within the International Affairs section there are facets on “International Development Co-operation,” “Sustainable Development,” and “United Nations and Other International Organizations.” Other facets of the Virtual Library deal with “Regional Studies,” “Economics,” and “Finance,” as well as other fields that would interest some involved in international development.

PRAXIS, maintained by Richard J. Estes provides access to a large array of archival resources on international and comparative social development.

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