"Our vision is an interconnected world built in the spirit of digital solidarity for future generations. Spider has supported since its inception."
What difference does ICT4D make? And what difference does Spider make in ICT4D? In this publication, we hope to give you a better idea of some of our activities during 2011. This report is not exhaustive, nor particularly detailed; it is not scientific, nor bureaucratic. Those who wish to read a more formal account of our activities in 2011 are welcome to read the Spider Annual Report 2011, which is freely available on our web site. This publication aims to give you a different insight into our work, and especially the efforts of our collaborating partners who are using their time and effort to build a better future with the help of ICT.
We have chosen ‘stories’ as a narrative format to capture the voices of our project partners as well as the ultimate beneficiaries of their ICT4D efforts: ordinary people in different social settings. When asked to report on their projects for Spider, we have encouraged our partners to complement their formal reports with stories in their own words, and it is a selection of these stories we wish to share with you here. These stories are told through words and photos, to describe, reflect upon, and communicate experiences, knowledge, and lessons learned.
We have also included the story of a Junior ICT Expert, a young ICT graduate from Sweden who spent some time in Rwanda, sharing his skills, while getting hands-on professional experience. There is also a story by a junior researcher, who shares his reflections on the 2011 IPID conference, an annual event for a network of postgraduate students in ICT4D that Spider has supported since its inception.
And there is a story to be told of our Democrazy workshop held in Stockholm in June 2011, bringing together experts and practitioners from different countries to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of ICT for democracy. The workshop also signaled the start of ICT4Democracy in East Africa Network, a collaborative network of projects supported by Spider that has done remarkably well in the past year.
At Spider we believe in verbal and visual storytelling as a form of knowledge production. Stories help people reflect on their own experiences from different angles. Through stories, people can also share their knowledge more effectively. The creative process of storytelling is amplified when words are combined with images. This format enables people to tell their stories more freely, drawing on different modes of expression to communicate their experiences.
We hope you enjoy these stories and we thank all the storytellers who made this publication possible.
Director of Spider