Information silos prevent knowledge sharing - it is the very opposite of open sustainability, and open knowledge for aid and international development.

When environmental organizations, aid organizations and development organizations act in a proprietary way towards their knowledge, this creates an information silo - information which cannot be shared, remixed, improved or freely used. This restrictions inhibits education, the flow of knowledge, and creativity.

What not to do[edit | edit source]

Information silos can occur through:

  • Thinking that information related to your aid and development projects is only of interest to your organization.
  • Enforcing copyright
  • Making no clear license statement, which in most countries makes the work copyright due to the Berne Convention.W
  • Granting limited permission, e.g. for non-commercial and educational use. This enables only simple and limited sharing which is not usually of great value beyond sharing your information on the web in the first place.
  • Keeping your organization's wisdom on hard drives, internal networks, in filing cabinets, or (even worse) only in your head, rather than sharing on the web.

How to be open[edit | edit source]

The solution is to:

  • Make the information you use internally available online, and
  • Use an open license (one that allows derivatives and commercial use), and
  • Consider contributing directly to a wiki, for example Appropedia
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Published 2009
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