Matthew L. Smith

Matthew L. Smith is Senior Program Specialist at the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa. He is coeditor of Open Development: Networked Innovation in International Development (MIT Press and IDRC).

  • Making Open Development Inclusive

    Lessons from IDRC Research

    Matthew L. Smith and Ruhiya Kristine Seward

    Drawing on ten years of empirical work and research, analyses of how open development has played out in practice.

    The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Knowledge Unlatched.

    A decade ago, a significant trend toward openness emerged in international development. “Open development” can describe initiatives as disparate as open government, open health data, open science, open education, and open innovation. The theory was that open systems related to data, science, and innovation would enable more inclusive processes of human development. This volume, drawing on ten years of empirical work and research, analyzes how open development has played out in practice

    Focusing on development practices in the Global South, the contributors explore the crucial questions of who is allowed to participate when an initiative is “open” and who benefits—or not—from them, finding that processes characterized as open can sometimes be exclusionary in their implementation. Examining a wide range of cases, they consider the governance of open development ecosystems and the implementation of a variety of applications, including open educational resources, collaborative science, and the uses of crowdsourcing.


    Denisse Albornoz, Chris Armstrong, Savita Bailur, Roxana Barrantes, Carla Bonina, Michael Cañares, Leslie Chan, Laura Czerniewicz, Jeremy de Beer, Stefano De Sabbata, Shirin Elahi, Alison Gillwald, Mark Graham, Rebecca Hillyer, Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams, Dick Kawooya, Erika Kramer-Mbula, Paulo Matos, Caroline Ncube, Chidi Oguamanam, Angela Okune, Alejandro Posada, Nagla Rizk, Isaac Rutenberg, Tobias Schonwetter, Fabrizio Scrollini, Ruhiya Kristine Seward, Raed Sharif, Matthew Smith, William Randall Spence, Henry Trotter, François van Schalkwyk, Sonal Zavaeri

    • Paperback $55.00 £45.00
  • Open Development

    Open Development

    Networked Innovations in International Development

    Matthew L. Smith and Katherine M. A. Reilly

    Experts explore current theory and practice in the application of digitally enabled open networked social models to international development.

    The emergence of open networked models made possible by digital technology has the potential to transform international development. Open network structures allow people to come together to share information, organize, and collaborate. Open development harnesses this power, to create new organizational forms and improve people's lives; it is not only an agenda for research and practice but also a statement about how to approach international development. In this volume, experts explore a variety of applications of openness, addressing challenges as well as opportunities.

    Open development requires new theoretical tools that focus on real world problems, consider a variety of solutions, and recognize the complexity of local contexts. After exploring the new theoretical terrain, the book describes a range of cases in which open models address such specific development issues as biotechnology research, improving education, and access to scholarly publications. Contributors then examine tensions between open models and existing structures, including struggles over privacy, intellectual property, and implementation. Finally, contributors offer broader conceptual perspectives, considering processes of social construction, knowledge management, and the role of individual intent in the development and outcomes of social models.

    Contributors Carla Bonina, Ineke Buskens, Leslie Chan, Abdallah Daar, Jeremy de Beer, Mark Graham, Eve Gray, Anita Gurumurthy, Havard Haarstad, Blane Harvey, Myra Khan, Melissa Loudon, Aaron K. Martin, Hassan Masum, Chidi Oguamanam, Katherine M. A. Reilly, Ulrike Rivett, Karl Schroeder, Parminder Jeet Singh, Matthew L. Smith, Marshall S. Smith

    Copublished with the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC)

    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00