Track chairs/associate editors
- Tariq Zaman (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia)
- Heike Winschiers-Theophilus (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia)
- Roger Harris (Roger Harris Associates, Hong Kong)
- Alvin Yeo Wee (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia)
Overview of the research area
This track will invite papers that address and reflect upon community grounded ICT developments in theory and practice in an effort to strengthen current efforts redefining a collaborative research and development paradigm with indigenous and local communities and promoting sustainable information society.
Although many ICT developments target local communities’ needs however, they are often being determined by externals stakeholders insufficiently familiar with the local context. This has led to numerous “white elephant” projects and millions wasted. Thus it has been established that rather than developing “for the community”, ICT solutions should be developed “with the community” to enhance social harmony, community gains and impact. This process however is not straightforward and brings about numerous challenges in terms of collaboration, timing, processes, expectations, skills, agendas, conceptual and technical understandings and epistemologies.
This track will therefore focus on community grounded projects where partnerships between communities and other stakeholders have been established to situate the ICT developments within the communities’ framework. In this context it is paramount to reconsider current project success and evaluation criteria, methods and tools and their situated appropriateness as well as their contextual transferability, and most importantly (re)defining cultural and research protocols to create an enabling environment.
Topics and related questions of interest for the track include the following but are not limited to:
- Evaluation: The papers should address related questions such as, what makes a collaborative community grounded ICT development project successful? How is collective success defined by the different stakeholders? In which way should community and academic learning and transformation through engagement in longitudinal research projects be holistically evaluated besides technological criteria? Thus we encourage submitting studies drawing on models and evaluation criteria for community grounded ICT development projects including socio-economic and environmental impacts.
- Methods and tools: Papers should present methods and tools that are appropriate and novel shaped within a collaborative context. Welcome are also reflective reports on success and failures of deployed methods which can expand current attempts to establish community-based development method repository. Addressing questions of transferability of methods and tools versus situated validity is of particular interest towards theory building.
- Engagement Protocols: Community grounded research and development requires a major paradigm shift towards establishing a coherent development context. Thus cultural, research and development protocols need to be (re)defined and negotiated among the stakeholders addressing issues such as commitments, responsibilities, and benefits among others. Within the engagement landscape we are also looking at the preparedness of the parties involved, mutual learning and transformations within the process.
This track invites papers addressing community grounded ICT developments within the conference theme “ICTs for promoting social harmony: Towards a sustainable information society”