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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
Information silos can occur through:
- Thinking that information related to your aid and development projects is only of interest to your organization.
- Enforcing copyright, rather
- Making no clear license statement, which in most countries makes the work copyright due to the Berne Convention.
- Granting limited permission, e.g. for non-commercial and educational use. This enables 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, and in filing cabinets, rather than sharing on the web.
How to be open
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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