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Open Society

'Development Outreach' on the Contours and Possibilities of Open Development

Sina Odugbemi's picture

Is the newly fashionable term 'open development' another masterpiece of imprecision, or does it mean something real, definable and enduring? The latest edition of the World Bank Institute's flagship magazine, Development Outreach, invites you to partake in a meditation on an emerging paradigm shift in development practice.

The World Bank Institute (WBI)  asked me to serve as Guest Editor of the edition. I was delighted to accept. And  the CommGAP team worked on the edition with our WBI colleagues. Together, we brought together a number of leading thinkers from around the world to reflect on aspects of what we think constitutes 'open development'.

I hereby invite you to meet them and to see what you make of what they have to say:

Waging War on Open Societies (in the Name of Openness!)

Sina Odugbemi's picture

In my nearly two-decades of living in the West, I have always been fascinated by the operatic displays of rage directed by some activists and campaigners at open societies and democracies. They do this in a world where sundry totalitarian and authoritarian regimes are getting stronger, stamping on ordinary citizens with gigantic boots, and shutting down nascent public spheres with total ruthlessness. Some of these regimes are now major players on the world stage, and the brave souls who fight for openness, transparency and citizen voice in these societies get very little support. They are mostly on their own.

Yet who are we supposed to see as a hero right now? Answer: a computer hacker whose philosophy ranges from naive libertarianism to anarchism. And what are the self-evident truths that we are supposed to line up behind?