Knowledge and learning in online networks in development: A social-capital perspective

Sarah Cummings, Richard Heeks, Marleen Huysman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors examine whether the concept of social capital can facilitate our understanding of online networks in development. Much of the knowledge generation and social learning in development takes place in networks, which increasingly operate online. Although these networks are assumed to be a positive force in development, there are many unknown factors, partly because they are in their infancy. The concept of social capital has traditionally 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. Three non-development approaches to examining social capital in online networks and communities are reviewed in the article. Elements of these approaches, combined with development-related aspects, are used to produce a framework to facilitate the analysis of social capital in online networks in a development context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-586
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopment in Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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