Innovative Ambiguities: NGOs' Use of Interactive Technology in Eastern Europe

Jonathan Bach and David Stark


This paper examines the changing form of NGOs in Eastern Europe as they face challenges of democratic consolidation in an organizational environment increasingly permeated by universally available information technologies, unprecedented collaboration opportunities and complex technological change. We examine how NGOs' potential for developing an innovative capacity is linked to their use of interactive technology. Examples include art, media and "meta" NGOs from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We argue that there is a move away from information brokering toward the facilitation of knowledge networks. This move may allow the unfolding of innovative capacity, but it also raises accountability issues and questions about the future form and function of NGOs.

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