The DMCD Pro-Seminar proposes a practical perspective on the new challenges and opportunities posed by digital and analog technologies applied to community development. The core objective of this Pro-Seminar is to acquire the critical skills to understand the impact of past and current technology-based development interventions from theoretical and empirical standpoints. Through this, participants will be equipped with the necessary tools to assess the role of digital technologies and media in their own organizations and projects.
About the course
The seminar will begin by offering an introductory conceptual basis of the use of technology in international development, accompanied by a series of selected international case studies and practical use of digital tools for diverse applications such as (1) multimedia content production and distribution; (2) collaborative mapping initiatives; and (3) appropriate technologies. These demonstrate possible uses of digital tools and techniques which can be applied in development efforts on education, health, agriculture, environmental conservation and democracy.
The first session of the course will consist of a brief presentation of theoretical and conceptual approaches linking the use of technologies to poverty reduction and community empowerment, based on the required and recommended readings. A second session will engage the group in considering how these approaches are being applied to real situations through documented examples of effective community-based digital development projects and related initiatives in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This session will be guided by the facilitators and by seasoned guests with expertise in digital development, from around the world. In the practical part of the program, participants will explore and experiment with simple and accessible media applications, including audio and video recording, live webcasting, image editing, blogging, crowdmapping, and multimedia storytelling, among others. Participants will use these tools to produce a critique media piece that promotes the values of equitable, appropriate and just practices for international development interventions centered around technology and media.
The expected result of the Pro-Seminar is to provide students with the conceptual tools to assess the potential positive or negative impacts of using digital technologies and media in development projects, in addition to providing them with useful free and low-cost tools to enhance their digital skills so they can apply them to their work.
- Readings, Readings, which provide relevant insights for students to engage in class discussions and to better understand the case studies (see list of required and recommended readings).
- Short lectures and discussion on the impact and application of technology and digital media in community empowerment and development.
- Presentation and discussion of selected international case studies, using videos, stories and frameworks such as the Principles of Digital Development.
- Speedgeeking, lightning presentations from global experts on different ICT and Multimedia fields with experience in international development settings.
- Introduction to digital storytelling tools and a practical exercise of using this “Digital Storytelling Toolkit” in a critique or review of a topic chosen by students individually or in small groups.
- Final Assignment (3-4 pages), to be concluded after the seminar. The assignment consists of a Concept Note for a technology/media-driven intervention aimed to address a community development issue (see the specific final assignment section).