One class that really influenced me was the class on the role of social media in development in week 10. As someone who intentionally chose to avoid Twitter (due to my tendency to waste too much time on such websites), I was shocked to see how much intellectual information was circulating and how beneficial and easy it is for individuals, projects and companies to collaborate and connect with each other. My brother currently works for a start-up non-profit organization called Burn Design Lab that focuses on developing and distributing sustainable clean cook stoves in Africa. After playing around on Twitter after class, I found that there are many other organizations working with cook stoves and discussing them on social websites. Being a very small and new organization, I realized that Burn Design could benefit by networking and connecting with possible partners through these resources. I immediately called my brother and convinced him of the many reasons Burn Design needs to begin taking advantage of the free social media and networking available.
In the future, I definitely see myself working in some sort of NGO or non-profit organization in development. Before, I was oblivious to the critical role ICT plays in the developing world. After taking this class, I’ve realized how important it is to have knowledge and background in such technology in any sort of developmental project as well as international development as a whole.
In another class I have learned about an important social program, Oportunidades, in Mexico that emphasizes the importance of assessing and evaluating their success and actually dedicates a portion of their budget to evaluating the project. The importance is that not all localities will respond to the implementations the same way, therefore it is important to see if adjustments need to be made. I think it would be very beneficial to add a lesson on the methods and techniques of evaluating ICT projects.