Description[edit | edit source]

International development is a trade that is learned by heart, which requires a broad range of skills such as:

  • personal kills, working with individuals of different areas while being aware of power imbalances and cultural subtleties,
  • the technical skills to materialize solutions
  • a set of internal managerial skills to gather information, some of it not being obvious...
  • the ability to synthesize results and disseminate to the general public
  • Overcoming limitations
  • Lack of skills and know-how in specific places
  • Amplification of traditional knowledge
  • Logistical restrictions due to the availability of materials

The process of knowledge transfer isn't enough. Local implementers must be aware that replicating a device or practice isn't enough to ensure the desired results in place. Other aspects must be considered such as community acceptance, physical limitations such as tools and quality of materials, different ways of doing things in different places (specific skills).

This course will focus on the skills for you to develop the skills to be a "development documentarian", or a person that focuses on the observation and fixation of knowledge in a way that can allow for development practitioners to reproduce solutions in the same environment, or in new settings.

Section 1 begins by exploring the concepts around knowledge, openness and access as starting points. Knowledge is ___, whereas openness and access deal with the question of who can access knowledge, and who can make use of this knowledge as a basis for reproducing the results in a new context. The goal is to lay out the basis for solutions mapping in an open and accessible environment.

Section 2 will focus on the typology of knowledge in international development based on the literature of open science procedures. The goal is to answer questions such as: what should I observe, ask or measure? What contextual information will be useful for me or others to look at in the future, to evaluate and to consistently reproduce and sustain the purposed results of the solutions.

Section 3 lays out good documentation practices. We explore the skills that development documentarians should gather as part of their documentation practice, as well as technical standards, documentation practices and tools from the areas of open science and hardware that will be useful to the creation of a knowledge product, such as the format and layout of a knowledge product, file formats and digital practices for collaboration, as well as design practices drawn from other areas of practice such as version control, semantic metadata and porting, among other useful practices.

Finally, section 4 will explore some applications of open and accessible knowledge:

  • Knowledge transfer and reproducibility
  • Collaboration
  • Communication and dissemination

Syllabus[edit | edit source]

  1. Openness and access
    • What counts as knowledge?
    • Open licensing and open access
    • How to license your work
    • Open access repositories for organizations
    • Collaboration through openness
  2. Documentarians for development
    • Definition
    • Why are they useful and why should you strive to be one
    • A documentarian's approach to knowledge
      • Visual documentation
      • Theoretical knowledge
      • Practical skills
  3. Documentation practices
    • Documentarians for development
    • Field notes and research
    • Digitization and archival practices
      • Organizing and storing material
      • Porting old documents
      • Digital archives
  4. Dissemination and knowledge transfer
    • Accessible formats for archives
    • Open access platforms

Why Appropedia?[edit | edit source]

  • Advanced documentation tools
    • Internationalized tools
    • Export to books
    • Metadata for semantic queries
    • Friendly REST API
  • Less overhead
  • Good SEO
  • Support
  • Export your content
  • Building a community for localized implementations

Notes[edit | edit source]

Open science, for example, considers a set of values and practice such as open data, open laboratories, open notebooks, open access, and open source, among others.

  • Open design practices (planning, structure, infrastructure, participation and power structures)

References[edit | edit source]

  • Bonvoisin, J., & Mies, R. (2018). Measuring Openness in Open Source Hardware with the Open-o-Meter. Procedia CIRP, 78, 388–393.
  • Pearce, J. M. (2012). The case for open source appropriate technology. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 14(3), 425–431.
  • Pearce, J. M., & Mushtaq, U. (2009). Overcoming technical constraints for obtaining sustainable development with open source appropriate technology. 2009 IEEE Toronto International Conference Science and Technology for Humanity (TIC-STH), 814–820.
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