• The main library of Universitas Islam Indonesia surrounds a Hindu temple.

Track 01. Perspectives on Large Scale and Complex Information Systems for Development: Ecosystems, Architectures and Platforms

Track chairs/associate editors

  • Petter Nielsen (pnielsen@ifi.uio.no, University of Oslo, Norway)
  • Johan Sæbø (johansa@ifi.uio.no, University of Oslo, Norway)

Call for papers in pdf

Overview of the research area

There are different ways of conceptualizing the role of contexts of implementation for ICT4D projects. One approach is to consider ICT4D initiatives to be just a small part of a larger socio-technical system. With this perspective, the larger system of existing technologies, practices, institutions etc., as well as other (ICT4D) initiatives will play a significant role by enabling, constraining and shaping ICT4D initiatives. These framework conditions, or large and complex information systems, are the sum of a range of different initiatives, investments and historically established practices.

Different concepts have been developed to capture different strategies to navigate in this complexity. Architectures can be used to link different systems together based on standardization and at the same time allow for layers of flexibility and division of labor. Ecosystems points to the mutual dependence of different actors and components playing different roles in the system. And platforms how certain actors can provide underlying components upon which other actors can innovate.

This research theme will focus on strategies for ‘becoming a part of’ existing large scale and complex information systems – as well as making systems ‘accessible’ for other initiatives. It is in its core about sustainability, but also touch upon sharing of information and promoting an information society. For instance, we acknowledge the structural limitations that stand-alone, closed, systems have on access to data from the public sector, in turn constricting accountability and local innovation.

Exemplar topics

This track will be open for a wide range of topics discussing ICT4D framework conditions. For example, we will welcome papers theorizing large scale and complex information systems, exploring strategies to become parts of these systems. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Architecture and architecting
  • Integration challenges and strategies
  • Historical and socio-political conditions for large scale information systems development
  • The role of international initiatives on domestic IS ecosyste
  • Platforms and innovation for development