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Information Issues in Development: Ethical implications of community profiling by Developmental NGOs.

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Show simple record Naqvi, Munawwar Papoutsaki, Evangelia 2012-10-11T21:42:07Z 2012-10-11T21:42:07Z 2012-07
dc.description.abstract In this paper, the authors critically examine some of the findings from a current research conducted in central India on ‘Developmental NGOs’ communication with their stakeholders’. These findings relate to NGOs’ collecting developmental information on their target communities before, during and after a development initiative and passing this data on to their funding agencies. It brings into focus (a) the information demands from the funding sources, and (b) Developmental NGOs’ communication with their target communities with respect to collecting this information. This raises questions in information ethics like, What are the ethics regarding the use of information on communities and other groups? How aware are the communities of their information being used potentially for purposes unrelated to current developmental projects under which the data was collected in the first place? Findings show that while all of the (NGO) respondents to this research collect very detailed information on communities while acknowledging that it is vital for successful implementation of their development programmes, they have no recognition of the value of their information gathering activity or of the contents’ value to other institutional entities apart from their funding sources. Then there are questions around ownership and control—Who owns this information and who is accountable for its use and proper disposal? It is evidenced that a significant amount of resources go into detailed reporting so what justifies the financial and other resources employed in collecting and processing all that information—a funder imposed activity— which often distracts from pursuing the objectives of the intended social change through a developmental initiative? The paper discusses the implications of this information gathering activity and of the content being passed into other domains for further processing and use. The discussion also models Developmental NGOs’ institutional growth which generally passes as ‘capacities building’ but ties in with the information generation activity; for instance, building better documentation capabilities apparently translating into transparency and credibility of the NGO, yet also leading to funding sources receiving concise workable information for use not limited to developmental initiatives. Among other controversial aspects around information ethics, it brings into question whether development is pursued as an end in itself or a means to achieve some other objective(s) which have their roots in the neo-liberal ideology, and reside elsewhere in the chain of powerful stakeholders in development. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en en_NZ
dc.subject Information Issues, Development Communication, NGO practices, Community profiling, Ethics en_NZ
dc.title Information Issues in Development: Ethical implications of community profiling by Developmental NGOs. en_NZ
dc.type Conference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedings en_NZ
dc.rights.holder Munawwar Naqvi en_NZ
dc.subject.marsden 200103 International and Development Communication en_NZ
unitec.institution Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand en_NZ
unitec.conference.title Forty Years of Media and Communication in Asia: Retrospect, Introspect and Prospects. en_NZ Asian Media Information and Communication (AMIC) Centre, Singapore. en_NZ
unitec.conference.location Shah Alam, Malaysia. en_NZ
unitec.conference.sdate 2012-07-11
unitec.conference.edate 2012-07-14
unitec.peerreviewed no en_NZ

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