Knowledge and Learning in Online Networks in Development: A Social Capital Perspective

This IDPM Informatics Working Paper examines whether the concept of social capital can be applied to facilitate our understanding of online networks in development. The concept of social capital has been applied to examine the functioning of groups and societies. More recently, it has also been applied to development and to online networks outside development. Given this background, it may offer a useful approach for increasing understanding of online networks (including communities of practice) in development. With this objective in mind, three non-development approaches for examining social capital in online networks and communities are reviewed. Elements of these approaches, into which development-related aspects are incorporated, are combined to produce a framework which aims to facilitate the analysis of social capital in online networks in a development context.

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