Platforms, community, collaboration and what it means for the Civil Society Organisations space
Posted by Ayanda Khuzwayo on 25 May 2018 10:30 AM SAST
For civil society, it's getting tougher and tougher to make an impact. Alot of civil society objectives tend to overlap, for example, an anti-corruption civil society organisation and an education civil society may have an overlap where a corruption civil society is addressing corruption in education. For this reason, collaboration is important because they have these overlaps and by joining forces there is so much that can be achieved.
Collaboration becomes critical and one can therefore deduce that platforms are important because in a platform environment, civil society organisations can really start managing key shared knowledge in one place. Let us revisit the initial example, look at corruption in education as two topics from two civil society organisations that overlap, but importantly there is shared knowledge across that topic between two civil society organisations or maybe more.
So how do they effectively share information? and how do they effectively show that they not singularly making an effort while as a collaboration the effort can be ten-fold? That is where platforms play a role. Platforms play a role that enables people to have conversations and document those conversations. Videos, photographs and documents can be shared to enhance these conversations. The incredible functionality that a platform like iamcitizen.africa brings is whereby this can be done in a very private manner whilst still maintaining the objective of sharing information and knowledge with the right kind of people.
Platforms provide a strong aspect of knowledge management. There are wonderful technologies to use today to communicate in real time like WhatsApp for example. However WhatsApp is not a knowledge management tool, one can share a document but to go and find it as well as getting information like which people it was shared with, ultimately becomes difficult. So, WhatsApp is not a management tool it is just a communication tool.
A platform is absolutely the enabler, the facilitator which has the technology to enable this collaboration functionality.