Research

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

Fair, Green and Global Alliance

2021 - Ongoing
IT for Change is excited to be a member of the Fair, Green and Global Alliance (FGG) – a consortium of eight global organizations – whose goal is to expand civil society voices to make trade and global supply chains just and fair in Global South contexts.

Unskewing the Data Value Chain: A Policy Research Project for Equitable Platform Economies

2020 - Ongoing
Development outcomes in the digital era are closely tied to the ability of countries to harness the data value chain and ensure fair and just digital economies. However, as things stand, the digital economy is anything but equitable. IT for Change’s two-year regional project, Unskewing the Data Value Chain: A Policy Research Project for Equitable Platform Economies aims to assess current policy gaps and explore new policy directions on data value chains that can promote equitable and inclusive economic development.

Reform the Gig: Research and Advocacy on Platform Workers' Rights in India

2020 - Ongoing
IT for Change's research and advocacy track on labor aims to consider the emergent challenges for workers and laborers in the digital economy, and build a new frontier of labor rights for the 21st century. Our work is primarily concerned with the working conditions of and social security for gig workers, the moral and legal responsibilities of platforms, and workers’ privacy and data rights.

The Feminist Observatory of the Internet

2020 - Ongoing
IT for Change, with support from the World Wide Web Foundation, is expanding upon The Feminist Observatory of the Internet within our co-founded alternative media platform Bot Populi. By engaging in nuanced debates, dialogues and discussions on women in digital economy, we seek to build influence in shaping public debate in this domain. This will be done through the publication of articles and interviews bringing multidisciplinary and geographically diverse perspectives on feminist struggles into the current paradigm.

Health Data as Global Public Good: Project for Foundation Botnar

2020 - Ongoing

We are pleased to announce that Fondation Botnar has commissioned IT for Change to develop a framework focusing on ‘Health Data as Global Public Good' that centrally includes community ownership of data into it. The research for this project will lay out the nature, role and governance of health data in the emerging digital society and economy. The project aims develop an understanding of these issues a

Centering Women in India's Digitalizing Economy

2020 - ongoing
IT for Change, with support from the European Commission, is anchoring a five-year (2020-2024) collaborative action research to explore the potential of alternative digital platforms in sectors that traditionally employ women. Undertaken in partnership with Vrutti and LabourNet, the project aims to ensure that the benefits of a data-driven and digitalized economy accrue to women. It is underpinned by a vision of mainstreaming gender in policy and exploring inclusive models of platform economies.

Data Governance Network

2020 - ongoing
The Data Governance Network (DGN) was established by the IDFC Institute in 2019 to bring together some of India's leading policy think-tanks. It identifies policy gaps in data governance and seeks to bridge them through policy interventions, research and advocacy. IT for Change was selected to be one of the four research nodes in the DGN for our research rigor and evidence of engagement in policy domains.

Recognize, Resist, Remedy: Addressing Gender-Based Hate Speech in the Online Public Sphere

2020 - ongoing
This collaborative project between IT for Change, India and InternetLab, Brazil addresses gender-based hate speech in the online public sphere. Supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, the project responds to the current reality in both countries where women are not only speaking up against patriarchy, but also claiming public-political space despite pervasive sexism and misogyny.

Feminist Digital Justice

2018 - ongoing
Feminist Digital Justice is a collaborative research and advocacy initiative of IT for Change and DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era). We aim to re-interpret the emerging techno-social paradigm from a Southern feminist standpoint. The project foregrounds debates at the intersection of enduring feminist concerns about gender justice and women’s human rights on the one hand, and emerging issues at the digital frontier on the other. It responds to the urgent need for Southern visions of transformative change in these times of paradigmatic shift, exhorting feminists from the South to engage with the political economy of data, and to use their knowledge and experience to re-frame the debates. In doing this, we seek to support and strengthen informed and cutting edge feminist analysis and action.

Past Projects

Righting Gender Wrongs

2018

This exploratory research study of gender-based cyber violence was led by IT for Change with feminist partners across six sites of study in India, and covered the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The research used mixed methods - self administered surveys with college students between the ages of 19-23, key informant interviews with law enforcement officials, women’s rights lawyers and activists, family court lawyers, counselors,

Platform Policies

2017
In April 2017, with support from the International Development Research Centre, Canada, IT for Change initiated a multi-country research study to map the key issues/concerns for the rights and inclusion agenda, stemming from pervasive platformisation. Through a detailed analysis of digital platforms, the project seeks to garner insights about key policy implications on access to data, competition, economic opportunity, and innovation.

ONLINE FREEDOM FOR ALL = NO UNFREEDOM FOR WOMEN - A PROJECT ON TECHNOLOGY-MEDIATED VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

2017 - 2018
World-over, technology-mediated violence against women is growing to be a serious social problem. Women’s full and free participation in digital spaces presupposes a safe online environment, but going online seem to be fraught with the risk of violence for women. 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, IT for Change and the World Wide Web 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 India and Bangladesh.

OER Adoption: Phase II

2017
As part of the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) network anchored by the University of Cape Town, IT for Change is undertaking an action research project on building a sustainable environment for OER access-creation-curation-publishing. In the first phase of the project, the Karnataka Open Educational Resources(KOER) programme for the co-creation of OER within a teachers' community of learning was studied. The project is currently exploring what it takes to build a scaled-up OER model that can become a systemic approach to teacher professional development in the public education system.

E-government and Gender Equality in the Asia-Pacific

2016
In 2016, IT for Change carried out a five-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. The second phase of the study, to create an online training toolkit on e-government and gender equality for policymakers, is currently in progress.

Research on ICT in Education

2017
The research projects undertaken by the The Centre for Education and Technology, IT for Change focus on cutting edge issues of ICT integration in education – collaborative OER models, professional learning communities of teachers and free and open technologies. We combine our research and programmatic work to make policy/programmatic framework recommendations to governments. The Centre also evaluates government and non-government ICT programs in education.

Latest publications

Featured projects