Since the late autumn summer-like days, I’ve had a mouse-and-cat-game with my flatmate. He loves chilled room temperatures, I don’t. When arriving from work in September, I would turn the air conditioning off and leave the back door open to make my room resemble a bit less fridge and conserve energy. And when he’d come home, he would turn it back on again.

Now the game has changed to heating. Today I woke up wrapped in covers. While getting breakfast, I noted how the heating had been adjusted to 60F, corresponding to 15C! Maybe I’ll send him instead of me back to the snowy Finland!

And so, wrapped in comfy blankets, I’ve spent the Sunday with baptizing and summarizing my overwhelming 100-page creation. My current working title is:

Reconciling the Wild West of Private Development Assistance – Harnessing Social Media for More Effective Private Development Assistance

and in Finnish:

Järjestystä yksityisen kehitysavun villiin länteen? Sosiaalisten medioiden hyödyntäminen yksityisen kehitysavun tuloksellisuuden edistämiseksi

Also, here comes the draft abstract:

A great number of initiatives, ranging from projects run by dedicated individuals to non-governmental organizations and foundations, aim to alleviate poverty prevailing throughout developing countries. However, despite the decades of delivering development assistance, the results are commonly considered unsatisfactory. One of the key challenges is that the myriad of entities involved in development, and fragmentation in their projects, make managing and coordinating aid extremely difficult. This leads to wasting of the development resources through duplicated efforts and overlapping activities.

Not only is the coordination among the multitude of independent actors very difficult, but so is also accessing the basic information about different projects. Through an extensive background analysis and a Finnish-Nigerian case study, this thesis demonstrates how the lack of basic awareness hampers the effectiveness of the private development assistance. Without holistic understanding of the delivered assistance, aid organizations cannot position their efforts in relation to others, and without knowledge of relevant others, they miss out possible synergies.

Furthermore, this thesis proposes a practical solution of how the global development efforts could be made more effective through the novel application of social media technologies. In addition to presenting six design features of a social media website for common knowledge sharing, its possible implementation is assessed.

This thesis addresses a gap in existing research and among other current initiatives. It deepens understanding of the causes behind inefficiencies in private development assistance, and contributes in a practical way to the important aim of making private development assistance more efficient.

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