Users and tools: the art of matchmaking. Challenges in choosing appropriate online collaboration tools for development professionals and practitioners

  • Vic Klabbers
  • Nynke Kruiderink
Keywords: collaboration, ICT


In the past years information and communication technology (ICT) has become part of many NGOs’ and developing countries’ strategies to reduce poverty. However, there is not much use of tools that encourage collaborative activity and of participation that encourages users to add value to the application as they use it. Next to that, when these tools are used, many of the projects fail. This paper shows that, in order to be successful, four main issues need to be considered when undertaking a web-based collaborative activity in the development context: the target group, the goal of the collaboration, commitment to invest resources and the appropriate technology. Using these four issues when developing an online collaborative activity will ensure a successful endeavour and prevent a project from failing.