Project Red Stripe, the secret web development being run by the Economist, has unveiled the venture it has been working on for the last four months.

Lughenjo - a Tuvetan word meaning gift - is the project, aimed at developing a web platform through which knowledge and collective intelligence from the Economist community can be used to assist development in areas of the world that have suffered from a 'brain drain' to the West.

Dubbed 'Yahoo Answers for good' by developers, the project will be a social business enterprise funded through advertising on the site.

In making their announcement, developers added that in the coming months they would be using their blog to look at the issues surrounding development - including the topic of commercialising an essentially philanthropic enterprise.

"In a nutshell, NGOs, charities and other organisations - as well as entrepreneurs active in developing countries - will be able to post tasks on Lughenjo asking for help in solving problems," wrote Tom Shelley.

"Qualified individuals can then provide such help by donating their knowledge and skills. By connecting these two groups Lughenjo will create a marketplace for good and a new channel for skills and knowledge transfer.

"So what difference can it make? We can't help but think that if we allow the Economist Group's community to give their time and expertise online - quickly and easily - then something great will happen.

"Initially we'll start small. Lughenjo users will be able to answer questions that are posed by accredited international development organisations. Think Yahoo! Answers for good.

"The key will be what happens later, when tasks become more complex. Imagine a CEO examining a business plan for a developing world social enterprise. Or when one of the 450 000 finance and accounting professionals of CFO and can look over the books of an NGO in Nairobi.

"The possibilities are endless. What's more, by allowing skilled, smart, professionals to help development organisations, they will help solve development problems with market-based solutions."

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