Ad­van­tages of The Plat­form

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• Ge­o­graph­i­cally iso­lated com­mu­ni­ties can more eas­ily ex­change in­for­ma­tion and knowl­edge.

• Na­tional or state level pol­icy mak­ers can be more strate­gic in ap­ply­ing top-down strate­gies by learn­ing from pre­vi­ously in­ac­ces­si­ble and dis­con­nected knowl­edge that emerges from com­mu­ni­ties.

• The World Bank, ADB and other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions that di­rect fund­ing through state and na­tional gov­ern­ments to­wards poverty erad­i­ca­tion and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment can see more trans­par­ently the jus­ti­fi­ca­tions of de­ci­sions about why, when, where and how to fund spe­cific ini­tia­tives, es­pe­cially at the grass­roots where large in­sti­tu­tions sel­dom ap­ply their re­sources di­rectly.

• The mid­dle-out ap­proach can re­duce the costs of ob­tain­ing com­mu­nity level feed­back be­cause the mid­dle-out frame­work it­self gen­er­ates re­ports on the ex­pe­ri­ences of com­mu­ni­ties en­gag­ing in sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives.

• The mid­dle-out ap­proach com­ple­ments rather than re­places the ex­ist­ing top-down and bot­tom-up ap­proaches to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment gov­er­nance. Case stud­ies are valu­able in pro­vid­ing mi­cro-level con­tex­tual knowl­edge, but at the same gen­er­al­iz­ing across cases is prob­lem­atic be­cause each case study rep­re­sents a sam­ple size of one. Our mid­dle-out ap­proach pro­poses to ag­gre­gate large num­bers of case stud­ies and then ap­ply qual­i­ta­tive big data anal­y­sis tech­niques that can pro­duce top­ics, cat­e­gories, and tags to rep­re­sent them, that can make gen­er­al­iza­tion across the cases pos­si­ble.

• The most im­por­tant fea­ture of mid­dle out ap­proach is that it ac­cu­mu­lates indige­nous and tra­di­tional knowl­edge that would other­wise be un­der­uti­lized or even lost.

pro­cess­ing and other in­for­ma­tion sci­ence tools. This strat­egy holds the po­ten­tial to bring to bear sub­stan­tial yet un­tapped knowl­edge in sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment strate­gies. The vir­tual “mid­dle-out” space is pos­si­ble be­cause of present rapid dif­fu­sion and ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies (ICTs) in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries like In­dia and Bangladesh.

What is unique about the mid­dle-out ap­proach is its fo­cus on what is es­sen­tially an in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment sys­tem ca­pa­ble of cap­tur­ing knowl­edge emerg­ing out of bot­tom-up small ex­per­i­ments and in­te­grate it with top-down knowl­edge, strate­gies and re­sources. The mid­dle-out ap­proach aims to over­come the gap be­tween the his­tor­i­cally dom­i­nant top-down ap­proach to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and the more re­cent em­pha­sis on bot­tom-up ap­proaches in which so­lu­tions emerge and are im­ple­mented by com­mu­ni­ties.

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