Information technologies for development: a quick round-up

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What a difference a month can make! Only a few weeks ago I was dreaming about the establishment of a decision market for development projects. As if to provide comfort to my employer that I was not hallucinating, Globalgiving have now launched a pilot online decision market "to help identify promising ideas and interventions in the arena of international development."

Those who decide to take part can trade their stock in 22 development projects and cast their vote on a project's likelihood of success. Check out their FAQ for a jargon-free explanation of how decision markets work. It will be interesting to see whether the model will catch on.

On a related note, the Philanthropy Journal recently featured an special on non-profits and technology, which looks at how these organizations use social media for mobilization and fundraising.

From the Bulgarian Red Cross to "Hoopes for hope," there are a number of interesting examples and lessons learned applicable to international financial institutions and the private sector. The special issue might have also included my latest favourite mash-up: Eco-munity - a tool that maps green communities in the US and, perhaps most importantly, creates a place for activists to collaborate.

And while we are on the topic of information technologies for development, Chris Kreutz wrote an interesting post that summarising the top 10 lessons in this area with links to useful resources.

P.S. As one dream comes true, one (potentially) exciting crowdsourcing project comes to an end. The Economist's Project Red Stripe started off with a vision to deliver "a web service that harnesses the collective intelligence of The Economist Group's community (of readers), enabling them to contribute their skills and knowledge to international and local development organizations. These business minds will help find solutions to the world's most important development problems. It will be a global platform to help offset the brain drain, by making expertise flow back into the developing world". Unfortunately, the team behind the project recently announced that they pulled the plug on it. See here and here for some passionate requiems.

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