Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Pentecostal movement relevant for development cooperation?

On January 27 ICCO/Kerk in Actie held a lunchmeeting with anthropologist André Droogers who's interests may be best described by the title of this book with essays in honour of him: 'Playful Religion'. Challenges for the Study of Religion'. More info on Droogers accomplishments as a scientist can be found in this Annual Report of 2006 published by the VU, the university Droogers was connected to. To ICCO's development workers Droogers pointed for indepth info to the Hollenweger Center and the research on Glopent a European research network on global pentecostalism.

Sietske Renting and Lisette van der Wel of ICCO/Kerk in Actie invited André Droogers to lecture about the relevance of Global Pentecostalism for the work of development organizations.

In the past 10-20 years a transformation has taken place in Christianity at global scale. Established churches with European roots, like the Roman-Catholic, Anglican and protestant churches are confronted with the departure of a substantial number of their members and see them join new christian churches and movements. In an era that the average church declines the Pentecostal movement seems to keep growing. Actually the poorer levels of populations seem to be attracted often to these faith based communities.

How and where do we meet as development workers this new reality in our work? And what does it mean for the policy of partnerships with faith-based organizations and church partners?

The anthropologist André Droogers, is a wellknown expert of Pentecostalism. In this lunch meeting he shared his knowledge about the background, the meaning and relevance of Pentecostal communities for the work of development cooperation. Droogers presentation led to a discussion about the challenges this development places upon the daily practice of our work.

When asked for a final word Droogers pointed to the enormous diversity in pentecostalism and adviced to try to distinguish the difference between them.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Gender Equality and Crisis

Margreet Mook, policy officer for gender issues at ICCO organized on Monday January 19 a lunchmeeting with professor Diane Elson of the University of Essex.

Diane Elson started her presentation on gender equality and the economic crisis and explained how this could lead to big changes in the economic system. Professor Elson explained the likely impact of the economic crisis on the economies in the South and in particular what this means for the jobs of working women.

In a discussion with the ICCO attendants Elson anticipated on the question what Development Organizations should do to deal with this crisis effectively.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Workshop: Working with Wiki's in Development Organizations - 13 February 2009

More and more development organizations are turning to wikis and other social tools to better communicate, document and share knowledge, collaborate, and exchange information.

Wiki’s are one of the most-used examples and are widely used in the ICCO Alliance ComPart initiative, as well as other development organisations.

On 13 Febrary 2009, ICCO and Euforic organised a workshop on 'Working with Wiki's in Development Organizations'.

This knowledge sharing session capitalized on the presence of David Weekly (founder and CEO of PBwiki) and other partners to share lessons and experiences, exploring how wiki’s are contributing to more effective development exchange.

Who's David Weekly?

I've been programming since I was about five, went to Stanford after coding for MIT and Harvard Physics, and am the founder of PBwiki. Our company has 30 employees and serves over 700,000 groups around the world - The Netherlands is our 12th most popular country for originating traffic, with about 30,000 uniques/month. My first trip to the Netherlands was in 1999 for the ACM International Programming Competition in Eindhoven; my girlfriend was our "team coach" and we snuck out to go clubbing in Amsterdam between events. A great deal of what motivates our team is the positive impact that we make in the lives of those that use our product: getting emails from Peace Corps workers in Namibia or seeing pictures of labs full of children in Costa Rica using our service really fire us up. I personally am very interested in this topic – I gave a talk in Geneva at the Palace of the United Nations in 2001 on community development technologies and attended the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia on the same. I flew to Ghana in 2004 to teach kids how to use computers. So of course we're very excited to be able to support development organizations with collaboration technology. I'd be delighted to hear what people are doing or hoping to do with their wikis and what other collaboration tools they're using in their organizations. Thanks so much for this opportunity!