Legacies of the Digital Review of Asia Pacific
As the executing agency of the Open Crowd-sourced, on-line Digital Review of Asia Pacific (e-DIRAP) Project which came to an end in September 2013, Orbicom leveraged the learning and networks from DIRAP previous model and achieved a higher level of development impact. We tapped various networks and resource persons to update country chapters. In addition, we did interviews and hangouts on ICT4D themes to bring e-DIRAP to life and build a community.
While authors from past editions may have information, they may not be updating it to e-DIRAP. We did an interview style format with them on Skype and recorded the same for a video plus a summary of each interview. On a monthly basis, we did Google+ Hangouts with experts on a specific topic, posted these on e-DIRAP's YouTube channel. 13 videos can be found at the following link:
To get the most up-to-date data, information and views on different ICT4D topics, we think that interviews and Google+ Hangouts are worth pursuing. Writing up a summary of each interview/hangout and publishing it together with the video can be a trend in the digital future given the rapidity of change in ICTs and ICT4D practices.
In the case of Pakistan, we used action research methods to activate the "crowds" in Pakistan universities, four weeks after, our research achieved anticipated results, i.e. an updated chapter on Pakistan, a new section containing uses of ICTs in higher education identified by students, and a new and enthusiastic group of university students using and working on e-DIRAP. One student's question has been guiding our research to a new level - "I think the more important question is what will be done with all our suggestions. Will they be implemented?"
The way how we get the Pakistan effort going can serve as a model for other countries. The major factor is mobilization toward a common purpose, the development of partnerships, getting commitment and taking action.
Thanks to the strong backing of IDRC, as well as the whole community, a milestone was achieved. With a whole lot of satisfaction it is time to say adious and viva to e-DIRAP. The bonds that have been bulit are ever strong as the pioneer work holds a special place in the hearts of those who were involved.