Information Online 2007 – Day 3 – Session 4

The last sessions were the hardest,with everyone tired etc, but I still got something out of it before I raced out to catch my plane home.

Travis Harvey and Hans Zerr from NetReturn spoke on the “Australian Development Gateway” the Australian Government and AusAid initiative to provide a knowledge sharing website for aid workers in the Asia Pacific, across different sectors and geographic areas.

Built on open source software, it focuses on 10 key sectors: education, disaster management, water, agriculture, health, development, governance, ICT, infrastructure and enterprise development/microfinances. They are adding 2 new sectors each year. The aim is for sustainable poverty alleviation.

The site is a community of practice website, with content partners, user driven content, optimised for low bandwith, remote carrier locations, provides quality sectoral information and lessons learned, builds and expands professional networks and visibility and has a growing content partnership.

Core offerings of the site are quality information sources, tools for users to participate, 2 way feedback loops, info on tenders, jobs, people and organisations in the region. Achievements include having 24 partner organisations providing content, QA and over 2,000 free online resources. They have 35,000 visits monthly, 1300 people and organisations listed in their online directory and 2500+ newsletter subscriptions, all serviced by 2 FTE staff.

Challenges: need to keep current with ever changing content and working with content partners they have had to develop clear editorial guidelines so they get quality over quantity. Most importantly, they need to ensure the website continues to provide content that is relevant, current and practical.

So that was it for me at Information Online 2007, I went home!