Research

In times of rapid, digitally-induced change, the knowledge space becomes a key area of capture and contestation. The state of play in the realm of concepts and frameworks is therefore a significant site for critical examination and informed action. Theoretical lenses and empirical facts must be used skilfully to trace who defines emergent social, economic and political ideas and how interests of different actors are impacted. IT for Change has been at the cutting edge of critical research, not only de-constructing dominant approaches and concepts in relation to digital developments, but also articulating alternative frameworks rooted in ideals of social justice and equity.

Current Projects

Online freedom for all = No unfreedom for women, a project on technology-mediated violence against women

Rethinking legal-institutional responses to e-VAW

2017 - Ongoing
In January 2017, IT for Change and the WWW Foundation initiated “Online freedom for all = No unfreedom for women”,a project that intends to trigger national-level policy dialogues on balancing the right to free speech online with women’s right to freedom from technology-mediated violence, in 2 South Asian countries: India and Bangladesh. In the current conjuncture, online violence against women has acquired pandemic proportions, and women’s full and free participation in digital spaces is increasingly being thwarted by intimidation and violence. A recent global study by UN Women found that 73% of women have experienced violence online, and women are 27 times more likely than men to be harassed online. Governments, especially in countries in the global South, are yet to bring their laws and institutions up-to-speed, to effectively respond to this issue. Against this backdrop, the project seeks to address key gaps/lacunae in existing legal-institutional frameworks on technology-mediated violence against women in India and Bangladesh.

OER Adoption

Research on Open Educational Resources for Development - ROER4D Phase 2

2016 - Ongoing
IT for Change is carrying out a participatory action research of the Karnataka Open Educational Resources(KOER) programme, to understand whether and how, a bottom-up approach, where participants collaboratively and actively co-create contextual resources ('embedded' within a 'community of learning'), can support effective OER model. The objective of this study is to collate insights for policymakers on how to build a sustainable environment for OER access-creation-curation-publishing as well as become a systemic method of teacher professional development in the public education system. It is part of the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) network anchored by the University of Cape Town.

Voice or Chatter?

Voice or Chatter? Making ICTs work for transformative citizen engagement

2017 - Ongoing
IT for Change is spearheading a multi-country research study on mapping the conditions under which ICT mediated citizen engagement can have a transformative impact on governance structures and processes. This is supported by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and the Making All Voices Count (MAVC) consortium. As part of this, a state-of-art-analysis and a case study of a micro-level initiative is being carried out in each of the following countries: Brazil, Colombia, India, Kenya, Netherlands, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, and Uruguay. The research is currently underway, and at the end of the process, the collaborating researchers aim at explaining the shifting terrain of governance in these times of flux, drawing attention to policy issues and governance practices that matter for meaningful citizen engagement.

Developing Countries and Internet Governance

Policy series on "Developing countries and global Internet governance" (2011-current)

2011 - Ongoing
IT for Change has been a key resource centre supporting developing country engagements in global Internet governance forums, in the post-WSIS phase. Through periodic policy briefs, we have examined the rapidly evolving social, economic and cultural implications of Internet related debates most relevant to developing countries.

UNESCAP research study and training modules on e-government and gender equality in the Asia-Pacific

UNESCAP research study and training modules on e-government and gender equality in the Asia-Pacific

2016 - Ongoing
IT for Change initiated a 5-country research study on gender and e-government in the Asia-Pacific, in partnership with UNESCAP and UNPOG. This study examined how e-government norms, rules and practices impact institutional shifts towards gender equality and women’s empowerment by focusing on its key components – service delivery, citizen uptake and connectivity architecture. It adopted an institutional analysis framework to map the state of play with respect to e-government policies and interventions in five countries in the region (Australia, Fiji, India, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea) and conduct an in-depth analysis of twelve good practices in gender-responsive e-government. The key findings of the study are accessible here. The second phase of the study is currently in progress. As part of this, a state of play analysis is being undertaken in two more countries in the region: Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Additionally, an online training toolkit and modules on e-government for women’s empowerment are being developed, based on the key findings.

Completed projects

IT for Change announces an open call for researchers for its project, Policy frameworks for digital platforms - Moving from openness to inclusion.

Openness to Inclusion