Thursday, September 07, 2006


This blog is about e-collaboration. It belongs to the D-group: “e-collaboration among Dutch NGO’s,” which is created by a joined initiative of PSO and IICD in The Netherlands. The members of this group all work in the development sector and have a shared interest in e-collaboration. The purpose of this blog is to share personal stories about experiences with working over the internet. Different tools and processes will come across. Personal opinions and views are central to these stories.

What is e-collaboration?

E-collaboration is defined as: “collaboration among individuals engaged in a common task using electronic technologies.” For the purpose of this blog I take this definition further than just collaboration. E-collaboration is then about working together, sharing knowledge, learning and communicating over the internet and providing or make use of facilitations to find information or people.

Why e-collaboration?

E-collaboration makes it possible to work together across time and space with equal access and possibilities for all. In the utopian view this is the promise. In reality people encounter challenges. Boundaries have to be crossed constantly: working with different organisations in different parts of the world and with separate time zones, with people from different cultures, who speak different languages and have unequal access to technologies. E-collaboration can overcome some of these boundaries. This is what makes e-collaboration attractive for the development sector. It opens possibilities for improved and closer working with people in the south. Besides that the need for collaborating with other NGO’s becomes more and more visible. Social, economic and environmental problems become more complex and inter-related and exchange of knowledge is necessary to avoid narrow approaches.

The initial set-up of this blog is made by Maaike van der Steenhoven. She is a student at Utrecht University and about to finish her Master education: ‘ New media and digital culture.’ For her internship at PSO she visited several Dutch NGO’s and asked them about their experiences, in order to give an overview of what is currently happening in the field of e-collaboration and the problems people encounter. This blog will start with these stories, but will be kept up to date by the members of the D-group.

Contributions to this blog, sharing your own stories or placing comments, are highly appreciated. If you would like to contribute your own experience, please contact Sibrenne Wagenaar at

Hopefully these stories will inspire and motivate you to get e-collaborative!


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