Saturday, February 16, 2008

USAID/s Global Development Forum

Henrietta Fore of USAID, and Director of foreign assistance talks about the Global Development Commons and invites you to participate in it.

The Global Development Commons (GDC), an initiative by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is intended to bring together the ground-breaking changes taking place in development with the rapid advancements in information technology and web communication. According to USAID Frontlines (page 2):
Taking a cue from Wikipedia – the popular online, user-generated encyclopedia – the Commons initiative is designed to be a “shared responsibility” of all who use it. USAID will, however, monitor its implementation, publicize its existence, and encourage new partners to join.
The GDC is to build and improve on the existing development information architecture (websites, portals, blogs, chat rooms, conferences, gatherings, etc.) to create a comprehensive network that allows users to search for information, facilitate dialog, and trade or exchange products and ideas. The physical components of the GDC - meetings and forums such as global HIV/AIDS conferences and joint donor-recipient country planning processes - should gather relevant stakeholders to discuss and share ideas with members of the commons. When these communities are linked together, they create a landscape of existing development-oriented information sites (both physical and virtual).

International aid experts and officials attended a USAID forum to discuss the GDC on Nov. 27, 2007. The forum’s keynote speaker was James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress (who is leading an effort by the Library of Congress and UNESCO to develop a World Digital Library). Other speakers involved in projects similar to the GDC included Mark Fleeton, chief executive officer of the Development Gateway Foundation; Helga Leifdottir, chief coordinator of the U.N.’s ReliefWeb; and Corey Griffin, director of Microsoft’s International Development Aid Agencies.

More information should be available on the Global Development Forum soon.

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