Website review: www.changemakers.net

Is information invariably bound to perception? Let us try and answer it in the context of the worldwide conference on water currently online at this website

 
Published: Sunday 15 June 2003

www.changemakers.net
Is information invariably bound to perception? Let us try and answer it in the context of the worldwide conference on water currently online at this website.

The first thing a global online discussion (on till May 31, 2003; so you can still join in) would try and do is sidestep the limits set by this question -- the technology allows you to do that, and at first glance, the discussion does seem to cover every imaginable sub-issue arising out of the need to look for the myriad ways water is/should be managed.

In terms of information, the value of this discussion lies in the numerous case studies that people from all over the world have contributed. A contributor from Slovakia outlines the destruction of traditional irrigation methods (although he does not tell us that it is the result of the introduction of capital-intensive methods, as Slovakia and other eastern European countries find themselves yoked to fast-track development). Another contribution outlines the successes of an organisation in Africa. Village Laporiya in Rajasthan gets canonised, making one wonder: are case studies from other parts of the world as equally "classic"?

The discussion explicitly requires "innovators" to contribute. Among other things, it makes the entire discussion a little expert-heavy. The reference to "funding agencies" doesn't help either: could this be the reason a lot of the contributions sound like a sales-pitch on managing water?

But to ask this question would be stand outside the "smart commons mosaic" which requires one to be a social entrepreuner (too corporatish, this one). As one of the discussion moderators puts it politely: there is too much talk from, and presence of, civil society actors.

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