Participation 2.0? Crowdsourcing Participatory Development @ DFID
Through an empirical analysis of Amplify, a crowdsourcing platform funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), we examine the potential of ICTs to afford more participatory development. Especially interactive Web2.0 technologies are often assumed to enable the participation of marginalized groups in their development, through allowing them to modify content and generate their own communication. We use the concepts of platform politics and voice to show that while Amplify managers and designers invested time and resources to include the voices of Amplify beneficiaries on the platform and elicit their feedback on projects supported via the platform, no meaningful participation took place. Our analysis of the gaps between participatory rhetoric, policy and practice concludes with suggestions for how ICTs could be harnessed to contribute to meaningful participatory development that matters materially and politically.