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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 448172
Title Opening the black box of donor influence on Digital Earth in Africa
Author(s) Lance, K.T.; Georgiadou, Y.P.; Bregt, A.K.
Source International Journal of Digital Earth 6 (2013)sup2. - ISSN 1753-8947 - p. 1 - 21.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17538947.2012.699560
Department(s) Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) spatial data infrastructures - gis - aid - cooperation - technology - countries
Abstract Africa's participation in Digital Earth is uneven. There is a tendency to ascribe this state to prevailing governance and cultural challenges in Africa. However, foreign actors such as donors have an apparent role in shaping geospatial policies and outcomes. Thus far, the complex linkages between external aid and improved social and environmental monitoring and decision-making have been handled as a kind of ‘black box’. To better understand the situation, we open the box and focus on the interaction between donors and policy-makers. We use a heuristic from political science, as well as empirical evidence, to describe the policy-influencing tools that donors employ based on four basic resources donors possess: organization, authority, treasure, and nodality. We show an evolution of tool usage as donors shift from ‘old aid’ to ‘new aid’ modalities. The new tools include: technical assistance for geospatial curriculum development, inscription of standards and data access requirements in contracts and grants, cross-agency project design, best-practice analysis, portfolio management, and the use of language to promote participation and accountability. Though these tools reflect donor intent to partner in the realization of Digital Earth, the tools stem from a persisting asymmetric power dynamic between donors and policy-makers.
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