Network-Centric Resources

Resources are assets that are drawn on by an individual or groups in order to function more effectively. Network-centric resources are people-powered and participatory resources that support the sharing and dispersal of knowledge in networks and communities. They are developed through sharing ownership, enabling contribution and supporting collaboration.  

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Those of us that are part of the tech and social change sector strive to exchange knowledge and skills in order to improve our ability to change the world for the better. We put a lot of effort into developing resources with the aim of allowing for individuals to use, modify our resources and contribute back. All too often resources and materials are not properly maintained or cared for after their release and there is an expectation that those seen as the beneficiaries will support and sustain the resource. It is assumed that they will see the benefit and value of doing so. Many of us who rely on resources have been frustrated by sudden inaccessibility.  Resource developers are often faced with quick obsolescence. This happens partially because funding only exists to get to launch or because those that initiated and developed the resource took a ‘if we build it, they will come’ approach without a post-launch engagement and modificaiton plan.  It’s all the more exacerbated by a focus on the technology tools that can enable access and sharing of the resource, while forgetting about efforts to engage and encourage human beings.  As a result, we see a lot of wheel reinvention and not building upon the knowledge that already exists.  

Examples of network centric resources would include things like Wikipedia, Tor, and GitHub. Closer to home they would include: LevelUp, School of Data, & Fundamentals for Using Technology.

What we can learn from these examples is that we need to strive to be intentional in the initial design of resources: to follow the main tenets of design methodology, to get users involved early and as equal partners. To be transparent during development and solicit review and feedback. To have clear inroads and encourage contribution. To appreciate those that do, and guide those that may have something to contribute but don’t know it. To articulate the value of participating. To encourage reuse and modification through outreach and licensing. 

We are proud to have Aspiration as a partner on this project.


Network Centric Resources in The FabBlog

Network-Centric Resources: August Update

We spent most of July working in California and wanted to give a quick report back on what I learned during the trip. It gave me an opportunity to get some insights from people that are focusing on developing network-centric… (READ MORE)

What are we building: communities or networks?

Here at FabRiders, we benefit greatly from our ability to share expertise with a network of technology capacity builders through which we have developed solidarity and close friendships. Recently, LevelUp asked us to help them think about how to improve… (READ MORE)

FabRiders’ Network Centric Projects

Evaluating LevelUp’s Outcomes

This project, undertaken on behalf of Internews, examined the outcomes of LevelUp, multi-year initiative that focused on supporting individuals worldwide providing digital safety training and education. The evaluation aimed to surface critical lessons the could inform future projects. A public… (READ MORE)

Data Literacy Research Findings

Introduction In 2015, FabRiders helped School of Data undertake its first research project to understand data literacy efforts around the world.  We published a series of blog posts on the School of Data website to share our findings. This is… (READ MORE)

LevelUp Webinar: Evaluating DigiSec Training Effectiveness

In this webinar developed for LevelUp, we looked at ways of evaluating training to help assess and improve digital security training skills. It featured guest speakers who use creative approaches to training evaluation and behavior change. They shared practical advice for conducting trainee follow-up… (READ MORE)

Strengthening Community Involvement for LevelUp

We’re taking a deep dive into communities of practice for a project to strengthen engagement around LevelUp, a digital security trainer’s community of practice currently supported by Internews.  We are also helping to look into new governance structures that will help sustain the community and LevelUp resources into… (READ MORE)

Developing a Network Governance Structure for School of Data

FabRiders supported Open Knowledge‘s School of Data in efforts to develop a governance structure in order to decentralise and provide better support and connection to the nodes of their global network. This process has involved facilitating meetings and engaging network leaders in… (READ MORE)