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New Information Technology and Civil Society Yanuar Nugroho, Ph.D Research Associate Suite 8.07 Harold Hankins Building

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Presentation on theme: "New Information Technology and Civil Society Yanuar Nugroho, Ph.D Research Associate Suite 8.07 Harold Hankins Building"— Presentation transcript:

1 New Information Technology and Civil Society Yanuar Nugroho, Ph.D Research Associate Suite 8.07 Harold Hankins Building KEIS 7

2 Structure 30+ minutes presentation …. 30+ minutes presentation …. … but … a LOT of stories from the field a LOT of stories from the field questions/clarifications at ANY time during presentation questions/clarifications at ANY time during presentation (hopefully) some reflections (substantial/theoretical) at the end (hopefully) some reflections (substantial/theoretical) at the end Material and reading list available Teach Material and reading list available Teach

3 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

4 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

5 What is Civil society? The search for polis (Aristotle) The search for polis (Aristotle) One of the cornerstones of vibrant societal sphere, providing voices for the disenfranchised and creating centres of influence outside the state and the economy (Anheier et al., 2002; Anheier et al., 2001; Deakin, 2001; Keane, 1998). One of the cornerstones of vibrant societal sphere, providing voices for the disenfranchised and creating centres of influence outside the state and the economy (Anheier et al., 2002; Anheier et al., 2001; Deakin, 2001; Keane, 1998). A sphere of ideas, values, institutions, organisations, networks, and individuals located between the family, the state, and the market (CCS-LSE, 2006) A sphere of ideas, values, institutions, organisations, networks, and individuals located between the family, the state, and the market (CCS-LSE, 2006) Global, network CS: CS that it is operating beyond the confines of national societies, polities, and economies. Not just CS that spills over borders and offers transnational opportunity for debates, but influences framework of global governance (Anheier et al., 2001a:11; Kaldor et al., 2004:2). Global, network CS: CS that it is operating beyond the confines of national societies, polities, and economies. Not just CS that spills over borders and offers transnational opportunity for debates, but influences framework of global governance (Anheier et al., 2001a:11; Kaldor et al., 2004:2).

6 Civil Society Organisations CSOs : the entity of the sphere of social life which organises itself autonomously –not established and/or directly controlled by the state (Deakin, 2001:4-8). CSOs : the entity of the sphere of social life which organises itself autonomously –not established and/or directly controlled by the state (Deakin, 2001:4-8). CSOs: the autonomous, democratic civil society entity, as expressed in organisations independent of the state and of corporate structure. CSOs: the autonomous, democratic civil society entity, as expressed in organisations independent of the state and of corporate structure. Gramsci (1971): CS is not only the sphere where existing social order is grounded but also where new social order can be founded a dialectic relationship: (1) the ideological agencies that are sustained by the states coercive apparatus that shape morals and culture; (2) CS has autonomy, more fundamental than the state, and hence is the basis upon which a state can be founded. CS is both shaping and being shaped –an agent of stabilisation, reproduction, and transformation Gramsci (1971): CS is not only the sphere where existing social order is grounded but also where new social order can be founded a dialectic relationship: (1) the ideological agencies that are sustained by the states coercive apparatus that shape morals and culture; (2) CS has autonomy, more fundamental than the state, and hence is the basis upon which a state can be founded. CS is both shaping and being shaped –an agent of stabilisation, reproduction, and transformation

7 Civil Society Studies Yet, despite being prominent, theory and conceptualisation of civil society (and CSO) has been in constant debate and contestation and probably not been academically mature (Anheier et al., 2001b; Kaldor et al., 2004). Yet, despite being prominent, theory and conceptualisation of civil society (and CSO) has been in constant debate and contestation and probably not been academically mature (Anheier et al., 2001b; Kaldor et al., 2004). But debating the meaning of the term contributes to an open and self-reflexive civil society in the end (Kaldor, et al., 2004:2). But debating the meaning of the term contributes to an open and self-reflexive civil society in the end (Kaldor, et al., 2004:2). Since the 1990's interests in civil society studies have increased rapidly Since the 1990's interests in civil society studies have increased rapidly General-theoretical (like Anheier, 2003; Edwards, 2004; Hajnal, 2002; Hall, 1995; Kaldor, 2003; Keane, 1998; Wainwright, 2005) General-theoretical (like Anheier, 2003; Edwards, 2004; Hajnal, 2002; Hall, 1995; Kaldor, 2003; Keane, 1998; Wainwright, 2005) Specific-empirical (such as, Anheier et al., 2002; Blumer, 1951; Edwards and Hulme, 1992; 1997; Hajnal, 2002). Specific-empirical (such as, Anheier et al., 2002; Blumer, 1951; Edwards and Hulme, 1992; 1997; Hajnal, 2002).

8 CSO, or NGO? A clarification Many use both terms interchangeably and put little attention on their difference and analyse them as a single entity. Yet, it may be an analytical mistake, since, Many use both terms interchangeably and put little attention on their difference and analyse them as a single entity. Yet, it may be an analytical mistake, since, Civil society constitutes a vast array of associations, including trade unions, professional associations, religious groups, cultural and sports groups and traditional associations, many of which are informal organizations that are not registered. Nonetheless, despite the huge variety of different types of organisations that are found in the developing world, most of the funding from international sources for service provision is channelled through non-governmental organisations. The NGO sector in most developing countries is formally organised and often subject to certain government regulations, and has developed considerable capacity and experience in the delivery of development projects. For this reason, although it is important to keep the terms CSO and NGO analytically distinct, in practice the majority of CSOs involved in service provision are NGOs (Clayton, 2000:1-2)

9 Advocacy CSOs The most important agents in state-society relations are social forces instead of social classes (e.g. Migdal, 1994). The most important agents in state-society relations are social forces instead of social classes (e.g. Migdal, 1994). Various social forces (regardless class status) try to impose themselves on the political arena, prescribe others their goals and respond to existing problem The relation between state and society can be understood as a continuous struggle for social control and domination involving different groups and organisations. Various social forces (regardless class status) try to impose themselves on the political arena, prescribe others their goals and respond to existing problem The relation between state and society can be understood as a continuous struggle for social control and domination involving different groups and organisations. This explains not only the social and political context of CSOs operation, but also the formation of social movement and the dynamics of civil society itself. This explains not only the social and political context of CSOs operation, but also the formation of social movement and the dynamics of civil society itself. CSOs activism in promoting civic engagement, particularly at grassroots level, is inevitably political and transforming. CSOs activism in promoting civic engagement, particularly at grassroots level, is inevitably political and transforming. This area –democratisation, grassroots politics, and mobilisation– is one main area of CS activisms and CSOs are labelled as political or advocacy or social movement CSO. This area –democratisation, grassroots politics, and mobilisation– is one main area of CS activisms and CSOs are labelled as political or advocacy or social movement CSO.

10 Development CSOs Another area: development, particularly orientated toward poverty reduction. Another area: development, particularly orientated toward poverty reduction. The success contribution of CSOs in reducing poverty is due mainly to their rootedness (closeness) to the poor communities and to their effort to cooperate with them (Barlow and Beeh, 1995). The success contribution of CSOs in reducing poverty is due mainly to their rootedness (closeness) to the poor communities and to their effort to cooperate with them (Barlow and Beeh, 1995). Among many examples, CSOs not only assist the poor in rural area, but also help in empowerment through education and training, resettlement and transmigration and family health and other welfare matters. Among many examples, CSOs not only assist the poor in rural area, but also help in empowerment through education and training, resettlement and transmigration and family health and other welfare matters. In contemporary issues and concerns, some progressive CSOs also pursue womens affairs, environment, human rights, and transfer technology to village communities. In contemporary issues and concerns, some progressive CSOs also pursue womens affairs, environment, human rights, and transfer technology to village communities. CSOs working this area are often generally categorised as development CSOs. CSOs working this area are often generally categorised as development CSOs.

11 Advocacy vis-à-vis Development Adopted and modified from Fakih (1996), Eldridge (1995) and Hope and Timmel (1988)

12 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

13 Role of the new ICTs in CS The emergence of information technology, particularly the Internet, has given new impetus for the birth, or more precisely the reinvention, of networked civil society (Hajnal, 2002). The emergence of information technology, particularly the Internet, has given new impetus for the birth, or more precisely the reinvention, of networked civil society (Hajnal, 2002). That is, a networked of organisations, groups, and movement within civil society aiming at mainly widening participation in political decision making for civic agendas such as development, protection of environment, defence of human rights, among many others. There is a virtuous relationship between (global) civil society, civic agenda, and network society. There is a virtuous relationship between (global) civil society, civic agenda, and network society. (Global ) Civil Society Network Society Civic Agenda

14 Role of the new ICTs in CS It is through the facilitation in communication and participation via Internet technology that a network society is formed and thus strengthens global civil society (Warkentin, 2001) It is through the facilitation in communication and participation via Internet technology that a network society is formed and thus strengthens global civil society (Warkentin, 2001) Because the Internets inherent characteristics and transnational reach parallel (or correspond to) those of global civil society, the medium serves as both a logical and an effective tool for establishing and maintaining social connections that can contribute to global civil society… By increasing the ease with which people can establish and maintain relationships, share resources and information, and coordinate their activities, the Internet aids the process of building and maintaining the social bases of global civil society. (Warkentin, 2001:33) Information technology provides both opportunities and constraints for actors participating in global civil society – in some ways expanding and in other ways contracting available means for interacting (Warkentin, 2001). Information technology provides both opportunities and constraints for actors participating in global civil society – in some ways expanding and in other ways contracting available means for interacting (Warkentin, 2001).

15 Role of the new ICTs in CS Democratic participation, can be facilitated through multiple connections which ensure informed and interactive politics (Sey and Castells, 2004: 363). Democratic participation, can be facilitated through multiple connections which ensure informed and interactive politics (Sey and Castells, 2004: 363). Historically, democracy meant having selected an élite of political representatives in political discussions. Then, having direct democracy by involving the citizen in the decision making process became the ideal. With the help of information technology this ideal has become possible today although still considered problematic (Coleman, 1999). The rise of the network society characterised by the appropriation of information technology has provided a renewed support for this vision (Richard, 1999) Historically, democracy meant having selected an élite of political representatives in political discussions. Then, having direct democracy by involving the citizen in the decision making process became the ideal. With the help of information technology this ideal has become possible today although still considered problematic (Coleman, 1999). The rise of the network society characterised by the appropriation of information technology has provided a renewed support for this vision (Richard, 1999) But, it is only under the conditions of an autonomous citizenship and an open, participatory, formal political channel that the Internet may innovate the practice of politics (Sey and Castells, 2004:370). But, it is only under the conditions of an autonomous citizenship and an open, participatory, formal political channel that the Internet may innovate the practice of politics (Sey and Castells, 2004:370).

16 Some ICT use in CS/CSOs Despite problem of access (esp. in developing countries) the Internet also has the potential to be Despite problem of access (esp. in developing countries) the Internet also has the potential to be a platform for organising strategic activities of CSOs (Surman and Reilly, 2003). a platform for organising strategic activities of CSOs (Surman and Reilly, 2003). building and strengthening the identity of CSOs in cyber-civic space for social reform (Lim, 2002; 2003a; 2003d) through coalition building (Diani, 2003; Rucht, 1989). building and strengthening the identity of CSOs in cyber-civic space for social reform (Lim, 2002; 2003a; 2003d) through coalition building (Diani, 2003; Rucht, 1989). by creating networks of opposition (Sey and Castells, 2004) which to some extent can be of important factor in leading to a creation of insurgent space (Lim, 2002). by creating networks of opposition (Sey and Castells, 2004) which to some extent can be of important factor in leading to a creation of insurgent space (Lim, 2002). establishing collaboration, publishing (campaign), mobilisation and observation (watchdog activities) (Camacho, 2001; Lim, 2004a; Surman and Reilly, 2003). establishing collaboration, publishing (campaign), mobilisation and observation (watchdog activities) (Camacho, 2001; Lim, 2004a; Surman and Reilly, 2003). Appropriation of ICT for social transformation would be optimum when it is addressed strategically towards movement development and organisational networks. Appropriation of ICT for social transformation would be optimum when it is addressed strategically towards movement development and organisational networks.

17 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

18 Context of investigation Indonesia Indonesia Multi-methods Multi-methods 268 CSOs were surveyed, 35 CSOs were interviewed, 15 case studies/observations, 3 workshops of 74 CSOs, 2 FG of 9 CSOs 268 CSOs were surveyed, 35 CSOs were interviewed, 15 case studies/observations, 3 workshops of 74 CSOs, 2 FG of 9 CSOs

19 Context of investigation

20 Pattern of Internet adoption Information Technology adoption Length of adoption (years) >10 (leaders) 5-10 (early majority) 3-5 (late majority) <3 (laggard) PC21.64%35.45%24.25%10.82% The Internet5.97%28.73%26.87%19.03% Estimated Variables Late majority and laggards (75.56%) Leaders and early majority (24.44%) Period of Internet use (years) <3; ; >10 Age of the organisation (years) 0-1; 1-2; 2-5; 5-8; 8-10 >10 Number of staff (persons) <5; 6-10; ; ; >25 Annual turn over (IDR) <100 million; million 500 million - 1billion; 1-2 billion; >2 billion

21 Pattern of Internet adoption Parameter estimation: Issues and concerns of each category N=268; Latent Class Analysis. BIC(LL)= ; NPar=94; L2= ; df=127; p<0.0001; and Class.Err=2.6%.

22 Access: typical problem?

23 Spectrum of use

24 Sequence of adoption Parameter estimation: application used by each category N=268; Latent class analysis. BIC(LL)= ; NPar=90; L2= ; df=131; p< and Class.Err=4.35%

25 Drivers for adoption

26 Technological Substitution In what way has your organisation benefited from its use of the Internet? Score How the Internet is perceived as technological substitution. As … Building wider network with other organisation1067Apparatus for building network More effective management of organisation (back-office & internal communication) 970Organisational management tool Cost saving in general852 Advanced communication technology Better publication/communication of idea with public/other organisation 850 Publication media, Public relation tool Collaborative project with other organisation(s)765Advanced collaborative instrument Fund-raising, including networking with donor685New way for fundraising Campaign/Opinion building574 Means for campaigning and opinion building Other41

27 Barriers to adoption

28 Negative aspects? Reasons for not using the Internet What negative aspects have you been experiencing in using the Internet in your CSO?

29 Impacts of Internet adoption

30 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

31 Instances of Internet use Empowering beneficiaries, spreading global awareness (YDA) Empowering beneficiaries, spreading global awareness (YDA)YDA Helping channel help for the most vulnerable (JRS) Helping channel help for the most vulnerable (JRS)JRS Networking advocacy (INFID) Networking advocacy (INFID)INFID Research for civil society empowerment (AKATIGA) Research for civil society empowerment (AKATIGA)AKATIGA Shaping public views (e.g. on globalisation, as with IGJ) Shaping public views (e.g. on globalisation, as with IGJ)IGJ Campaigning alternative (more sustainable) lifestyle (YPBB) Campaigning alternative (more sustainable) lifestyle (YPBB)YPBB Campaigning for public policy change (ECOSOC) Campaigning for public policy change (ECOSOC)ECOSOC Mobilisation of direct action (case of Pornography bill) Mobilisation of direct action (case of Pornography bill)case of Pornography billcase of Pornography bill See more at

32 Strategic use of the Internet Collaboration: platform for wider collaboration not only within organisations but also between organisations. Among strategic collaboration work is networking and coalition building. Collaboration: platform for wider collaboration not only within organisations but also between organisations. Among strategic collaboration work is networking and coalition building. Mobilisation: provide tools to help with mobilisation, including campaigns and urgent calls for action which can be facilitated by simple- but-powerful tools like s and mailing lists. Mobilisation: provide tools to help with mobilisation, including campaigns and urgent calls for action which can be facilitated by simple- but-powerful tools like s and mailing lists. Empowerment and development: provide alternative opinion and information; help spread awareness and invite real participation in various development programmes and agendas of improvement of livelihood. Empowerment and development: provide alternative opinion and information; help spread awareness and invite real participation in various development programmes and agendas of improvement of livelihood. Research and publication: data and information acquisition as research input (information in), and for dissemination of publication as research output (information out). Research and publication: data and information acquisition as research input (information in), and for dissemination of publication as research output (information out). Advocacy and monitoring: effective tool in helping to shape public opinion which is crucial for successful advocacy work like rallies, protests, or lobbying; a convenient means for monitoring development/watchdog activities in a certain field. Advocacy and monitoring: effective tool in helping to shape public opinion which is crucial for successful advocacy work like rallies, protests, or lobbying; a convenient means for monitoring development/watchdog activities in a certain field.

33 National network growth SNA shows evidence how the national network of Indonesian CSOs expands and grows over time –i.e. in 4 (four) social transition period in Indonesia. Label shows the CSOs that were interviewed. Note that they represent the centre, periphery and isolate

34 International network growth SNA shows evidence how the international network of Indonesian CSOs expands and grows over time – i.e. in 4 (four) social transition period in Indonesia. This evidence challenges existing proposition about the role and involvement of international CSO during the transition period to democracy in Indonesia (e.g. Uhlin, 2000)

35 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

36 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

37 Revision of adoption stages

38

39 Internet for civic engagement

40 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

41 Duality – not dualism

42 Lessons learned – CSO level Issues and concerns characterise the diffusion of the Internet in CSOs. Embedded values and interests of CS sector play a greater role in CSOs in the innovation process in organisations than implied by diffusion model (Rogers, 1995; 2003). Issues and concerns characterise the diffusion of the Internet in CSOs. Embedded values and interests of CS sector play a greater role in CSOs in the innovation process in organisations than implied by diffusion model (Rogers, 1995; 2003). CSOs seem to adopt new ICTs within a culture of collaboration and co- operation with other CSOs rather than a matter of competition whether distinctive organisational cultures at least partially account for how perceived attributes of the Internet may affect its adoption in CSOs. CSOs seem to adopt new ICTs within a culture of collaboration and co- operation with other CSOs rather than a matter of competition whether distinctive organisational cultures at least partially account for how perceived attributes of the Internet may affect its adoption in CSOs. CSOs do not perceive the Internet as a source of competitive advantage (among their CSO peers) even though the technology offers capability to generate a high level of visibility for the organisation (for example, by means of WWW). CSOs do not perceive the Internet as a source of competitive advantage (among their CSO peers) even though the technology offers capability to generate a high level of visibility for the organisation (for example, by means of WWW).

43 Lessons learned – CSO level Use of the Internet to encourage political participation should remain relevant. CSOs endeavour in shaping public perception and opinion can be facilitated by CSOs being active users on the Net. Use of the Internet to encourage political participation should remain relevant. CSOs endeavour in shaping public perception and opinion can be facilitated by CSOs being active users on the Net. It is argued that by becoming more active in the cyber-world –through creating an online persona (McCaughey and Ayers, 2003; Warkentin, 2001)CSOs will engage in framing activities like online public opinion building, especially in the era when online media is increasingly gaining popularity. By shaping the way issues are conceptualised and understood, CSOs can often affect public opinion building in important ways. As the adoption and use of the Internet potentially enables CSOs to play more important roles in society, the implementation of the technology has to become a more integral part of organisational strategy (as suggested by, e.g. Galliers, 2004; 2007). As the adoption and use of the Internet potentially enables CSOs to play more important roles in society, the implementation of the technology has to become a more integral part of organisational strategy (as suggested by, e.g. Galliers, 2004; 2007). Lastly, while some areas for strategic use of the Internet in CSOs are mapped, CSOs strategically and politically facilitate the creation and maintenance of civil societys foundational network of social relations (Warkentin, 2001) in order to create another better world (Hajnal, 2002; Kaldor, 2003; Keane, 1998). Lastly, while some areas for strategic use of the Internet in CSOs are mapped, CSOs strategically and politically facilitate the creation and maintenance of civil societys foundational network of social relations (Warkentin, 2001) in order to create another better world (Hajnal, 2002; Kaldor, 2003; Keane, 1998).

44 Lessons learned – SM level Since Internet use affects organisational identity (Castells, 1997), CSOs need to manifest its institutional development and broaden attempts to play its role in society by re-aligning resources, re-defining organisations strategy, tackling organisational issues (as also suggested by Clegg and Dunkerley, 1977; McLaughlin et al., 1999; Scott, 2003). Since Internet use affects organisational identity (Castells, 1997), CSOs need to manifest its institutional development and broaden attempts to play its role in society by re-aligning resources, re-defining organisations strategy, tackling organisational issues (as also suggested by Clegg and Dunkerley, 1977; McLaughlin et al., 1999; Scott, 2003). It is also with this in mind that CSOs members need to share a collective identity and role, develop mutual respect and increase trust among each other in order to maintain organisational cohesion. As the use of the Internet in CSOs becomes more extensive, this can result in borders between organisations disappearing and sectors within civil society converging As the use of the Internet in CSOs becomes more extensive, this can result in borders between organisations disappearing and sectors within civil society converging CSOs certainly need to anticipate this development and possibly prepare for new paradigms in their socio-political activism. Not only is the future changing, but the change itself can, and will, affect CSOs undertakings – in which the use of the Internet will play a mediating role.

45 Lessons learned – SM level Using the Internet to mobilise resources for action and pressures, the challenge is for CSOs to actually connect people and to exchange views across national boundaries on cross-cutting contemporary and global political, social and economic issues. Using the Internet to mobilise resources for action and pressures, the challenge is for CSOs to actually connect people and to exchange views across national boundaries on cross-cutting contemporary and global political, social and economic issues. While the Internet has successfully facilitated ways of fostering reform and development agenda to the wider public, CSOs will need to remember that the essence of social movement is real engagement, not just information exchange (Juris, 2004). For CSOs as a social movement, the most significant impact of Internet use might be its ability to interconnect organisations and networks of organisations to advance joint actions. This means an obvious challenge for CSOs to use the Internet which serves as a platform for the development of alternative discourses and strategies both in local and in global level, because this is exactly how the use of the Internet can affect the roles of CSOs in reshaping the socio-political life of society. For CSOs as a social movement, the most significant impact of Internet use might be its ability to interconnect organisations and networks of organisations to advance joint actions. This means an obvious challenge for CSOs to use the Internet which serves as a platform for the development of alternative discourses and strategies both in local and in global level, because this is exactly how the use of the Internet can affect the roles of CSOs in reshaping the socio-political life of society. While Internet use can facilitate collective and collaborative work particularly when CSOs endeavour to influence public policy making, CSOs need to build their own capacity in order to be able to strategically use the technology.

46 Agenda What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is civil society, what is civil society organisations? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? What is new in the New Information Technology in CS/CSOs? How do CSOs use the new ICT? How do CSOs use the new ICT? What do they use it for? What do they use it for? What can we learn from their use? What can we learn from their use? Some reflections Some reflections Discussion Discussion

47 Transforming technology? As we saw, the transforming and unpredictable character of technological innovation makes any manageable form of cost-benefit analysis impossible. Does this mean that we have no way by which to judge it? No, because all such technology comes into existence and develops in a context, and that context as its broadest is the one to which reference has just been made –human nature and the human condition. It is a context, however, which bears on our assessment of technology not by providing a medium in which costs and benefits may be compared, but by providing us with the standard against which the ultimate value of technology must be measured. (Gordon Graham, Internet philosopher, 1999:169)


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