It’s funny how a contentious question for one person seems like a no-brainer for another. It doesn’t tell you who’s right or wrong (it’s rarely black and white) but it can reveal the different assumptions we operate by.
When Paul Currion asked Do you think it’s time for a humanitarian wiki? my own thought was “What do you think we’ve been doing?”
Appropedia has been a humanitarian wiki since 2006, covering mainly the technical aspects of development and relief work (particularly appropriate technology). Increasingly this collaboratively built knowledge base has been covering the essential social and cultural questions as well – culture and community, and principles of development.
So the real question is “Do you think it’s time to support this work?” Relief workers with your personal checklists and guidelines that are your tools of the trade – what’s stopping you from sharing these, and helping others be more effective aid workers? How about asking your organization to adopt an open license policy, even a policy of actively sharing their knowledge resources through Appropedia?
Your mission is to save lives and relieve suffering. Effective knowledge sharing, using an acknowledged, accessible platform, is an essential part of that.
Do you think it’s time?