Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Updated DIAC-08 Abstract

Through the ongoing process of globalization the world appears to be changing, and in this process there are obvious winners and losers. Often communities at the bottom of the economic and social ladder are those being the hardest hit. In response to the challenges of globalization communities and activists spread out across the globe are seeking strategic advantages through the uses of ICTs to enable effective advocacy. While the positive results sought through these networked associations are not always realized, there are numerous projects taking place around the world aimed at enhancing civil society’s capacity to mitigate the effects of globalization and empower local communities to define the trajectories of development.

In 2006, a study was conducted to analyze the relevance of one of these capacity-building efforts, “Liberating Voices” a program emphasizing the use of pattern languages as a method of supporting ‘civic communication.’ The study sought to evaluate whether effective networks exhibit the elements defined within the Liberating Voices database as archetypical patterns for effective communication and political transformation. The results of this study revealed that while the Liberating Voices project is not yet complete, various pattern configurations can be observed among effective instances of networked advocacy. This points to the opportunity to further study these patterns as approaches to capacity building for ineffective networks struggling to influence political discourse at local and global spheres of policy making.

KEYWORDS: Pattern Languages, Advocacy Networks, Community Information Systems

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