AcknowledgementsFirstly I'd like to thank Daniel Pimienta for allowing me to work as part of Funredes for my placement and the material support available to me which allowed me to carry out a substantial portion of research even if it's not all gone in here. Secondly, I would like to thank Luis Barnola of IDRC for interesting talks and emails and for directing me to Peter Kollocks' work on generalised exchange. Next, I thank my new flatmates for leaving the house empty for me so I could concentrate on finishing this. Then thanks to all those participants on the various discussion lists, especially MISTICA and Community Informatics for all the wonderful things I have received in my email. Lastly, but not least! Marcus, thanks for your support and encouragement, sending me copies of your papers to me on placement, your emails and your patience.