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Why we shouldn’t believe the hype about the Internet “creating” development

Why we shouldn’t believe the hype about the Internet “creating” development

Vast sums of money have been invested in projects to connect the world’s remaining four billion people, with these ambitious schemes often presenting digital connectivity as a means to achieve a range of social and economic developmental goals. This is especially the case for Africa, where Internet penetration rates remain relatively low, while the need […]

New Report: Risks and Rewards of Online Gig Work at the Global Margins

The growth of online gig work — paid work allocated and delivered by way of internet platforms without a contract for long-term employment — has been welcomed by economic development experts, and the world’s largest global development network is promoting its potential to aid human development. There are hopes that online gig work, and the […]

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What Impact is the Gig Economy Having on Development and Worker Livelihoods?

As David Harvey famously noted, workers are unavoidably place-based because “labor-power has to go home every night.” But the widespread use of the Internet has changed much of that. The confluence of rapidly spreading digital connectivity, skilled but under-employed workers, the existence of international markets for labour, and the ongoing search for new outsourcing destinations, […]

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Examining the data-driven value chains that are changing Rwanda’s tea sector

There has been a lot of hope and publicity about the economic potential of increased Internet connectivity in the East African region; including the hope of disintermediation and better connection to global markets. Chris Foster discusses the findings of an OII project on Development and Broadband Internet Access in East Africa. Through surveys, interviews and in-depth observations, the project examines the expectations and stated potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa, comparing those expectations to the on-the-ground effects of broadband connectivity.

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Why haven’t digital platforms transformed firms in developing countries? The Rwandan tourism sector explored

There has been a lot of hope and publicity about the economic potential of increased Internet connectivity in the East African region; including the hope of disintermediation and better connection to global markets. Chris Foster discusses the findings of an OII project on Development and Broadband Internet Access in East Africa. Through surveys, interviews and in-depth observations, the project examines the expectations and stated potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa, comparing those expectations to the on-the-ground effects of broadband connectivity.

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Broadband may be East Africa’s 21st century railway to the world

The excitement over the potentially transformative effects of the internet in low-income countries is nowhere more evident than in East Africa. Reposted from The Conversation. The excitement over the potentially transformative effects of the internet in low-income countries is nowhere more evident than in East Africa – the last major populated region of the world […]

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Investigating virtual production networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia

What effects will the emergence of new and transformative ‘virtual’ economic activities and work (such as ‘microwork’ and ‘game labour’) have on social and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia? Mark Graham, PI of a project on Microwork and Virtual Production Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia discusses the question of how to discover who is benefitting, what difference remaining barriers and positionalities in SSA and SEA make, and ultimately what difference changing connectivities make in the world’s economic peripheries. [Read more OII work on virtual labour]

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Why global contributions to Wikipedia are so unequal

The geography of knowledge has always been uneven. Some people and places have always been more visible and had more voices than others. Reposted from The Conversation.   The geography of knowledge has always been uneven. Some people and places have always been more visible and had more voices than others. But the internet seemed […]

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What explains the worldwide patterns in user-generated geographical content?

How do we explain the significant inequalities in the geography of user-generated information? Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, shows that a large part of the country-level variation can be explained by just three factors. Read the full paper: Graham, M., Hogan, B., Straumann, R.K., and Medhat, A. (2014) Uneven Geographies of User-Generated Information: Patterns of Increasing Informational Poverty (Annals Assoc. Amer. Geog.).

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Geotagging reveals Wikipedia is not quite so equal after all

Wikipedia is often seen as a great equaliser. But it’s starting to look like global coverage on Wikipedia is far from equal. Reposted from The Conversation.   Wikipedia is often seen as a great equaliser. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people collaborate on a seemingly endless range of topics by writing, editing and discussing […]

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