Box 10 – What are the strategic uses of the Internet in Indonesian CSOs?
The word ‘strategic’ is among the most frequent used terms found in the entire fieldwork of this study. When investigating the strategic areas in which the Internet could be used, interviews, workshops and focus groups were overwhelmed with the term so much so that it is now urgent to understand what it really means in the context of this study. Interviews with Indonesian CSO leaders gives us a hint: Internet use is considered strategic when it addresses certain characteristic related to (i) properties of the tools or means being used; (ii) orientation of action for which the tools are used (iii) issues to which the action is tackling, and (iii) actors who perform and are affected by the action.
This study therefore defines “strategic use of the Internet” as an enactment and/or appropriation of particular characteristics of the Internet to perform specific actions within certain issues to achieve specific goals which are perceived to be meaningful not only by the actors doing the actions but also by others affected by the actions.
Based on the fieldwork investigation, particularly interviews [of 46 CSO activists representing 35 organisations] and workshops [of 94 participants representing 72 organisations], the study endeavours to look at the following areas which are abundantly referred to by the CSOs involved in the study. There are five areas in which the Internet could be used strategically to achieve the mission and goals of the organisations, i.e. (1) collaboration, (2) mobilisation, (3) empowerment and development, (4) research and publication, and (5) advocacy and monitoring.
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Source: Interviews, workshops, and author’s reflection.
(PhD Thesis, Nugroho, 2007:230 – Box 6.7.)
Picture of this post is taken from APC website (www.apc.org)