Research Projects

Indigenous Information in Chiapas

  • SIET: Setting up an Indigenous library, a monitoring and evaluation system, and strengthening a community radio with Tzeltal indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico.

 

Im'In: Immigration and Information at the crossroads

  • Foto Historias: Participatory Photography with Immigrants in Seattle, at the US-Mexico Border, and Colombia.
  • Sanctuary: Migration and spaces of sanctuary in US and Europe  See Working Site 
  • Use of technology among Hispanic day laborers in WA State: How do underserved populations such as Hispanic day laborers in Washington State use computers and other information and communication technologies? Past projects include:
    • Fearless Cards, a toolkit for basic computer literacy training for underserved populations.
    • CasaCare, a platform to connect Home Care workers at Casa Latina with potential employers.
    • ICT and Surveillance at the US-Mexico border: Explores the information needs and practices of irregular migrants at the US-Mexico border; the role of ICT in the context of transnational migration; and the legal and ethical implications of such ICT use.

 

Impact: how do information and communication technologies help people improve their lives?

 

Pushback: Expressions of resistance to permanent online connectivity

ICTD Trends: Growth and maturation of the field of ICTD

  • How has the discourse about ICT for development shifted over the past decade? This study does a content analysis of journals and conferences in the ICTD field between 2000-2010.

 

Research

The field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (referred to as ICT, ICTD, ICT4D, or Community Informatics), deals with the use of computers and the internet (although other technologies can be considered as well) to promote social and economic development.

I argue that access to computers and other technologies is not sufficient to achieve human development. Beyond access, the skill and capacity to make effective use of the technologies (something we have called "social appropriation"), and the existence of an enabling environment (policy, regulation and good will) are also crucial if ICT are to contribute to improve the lives of marginalized and underserved communities.

Technology is not good or bad, but it is not neutral. Left alone, it tends to replicate or amplify existing inequalities in society.

The goal of my research is to understand the ways in which use of ICT, in particular computer in public places such as libraries, telecenters and cybercafes, helps people in marginalized communities to improve their lives.