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[Commlist] "ICTs for Community Development": call for papers (American Behavioral Scientist)
Tue May 21 09:01:32 GMT 2019
Special Issue Call for Papers
American Behavioral Scientist
The American Behavioral Scientist invites submissions for a special
ICTs for Community Development: Bridging conceptual, theoretical and
Mauro Sarrica (Sapienza University, Rome)
Francesca Comunello (LUMSA University, Rome)
Simone Mulargia (Sapienza University, Rome)
Community Informatics (CI) (Denison et al., 2014) and Information and
Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) projects focus on the
appropriation of ICTs and the design of information systems to meet the
needs of communities.
Ten years ago, Donner suggested that projects are often developed “in
relative isolation from each other, separated by regions, and by
disciplines” (Donner, 2008, p.140). While this situation has improved, a
better integration between ICT4D and non-ICT4D models is still necessary
in order to better grasp the socio-technical processes ICTs activate at
the individual and community level, and beyond.
In particular, this special issue will address three main issues
connected with CI and ICT4D projects:
1) There is a dearth of middle-range theorization capable of providing
broader interpretative frameworks for ICT4D (Sarrica et al., 2017).
Indeed, cross-fertilization is needed between CI, ICT4D, and broader
theories on ICTs, in order to generate stronger interpretative
frameworks. Moreover, theoretical models and method developed in the
‘global north’ and for a ‘general user’ could be refined by their
application to marginalised communities and in a variety of cultural
2) CI and ICT4D projects typically consider “lived-in and situated
communities not as passive recipients of technological opportunities,
but as actors engaged in the comprehension and ‘doing’ of community
problem solving directed to social progress” (Stillman and Linger, 2009,
p. 256). However, the role of power in all the different phases of
projects often remains in the background.
3) CI and ICT4D projects typically involve a range of researchers and
participants reflecting different cultures, theoretical backgrounds and
levels of training. These projects depend for their success on the
ability to bridge differences. However, the harmonization between
theoretical backgrounds, methodologies and practical constrains have
heretofore proved problematic.
An emic approach to culture characterizes the three critical points
outlined above and is at the base of the special issue. Its aim is to
foster a thorough reflection of the importance of localized or
context-specific issues in the design of research and intervention, with
the purpose of improving the effectiveness and sustainability of
community informatics and ICT4D projects.
Following these suggestions, aim of the special issue is to collect and
put into dialogue theoretical, methodological, critical and applied
contributions dealing with the variety of ICT uses in community development.
Potential topics include the following (contributions that cross several
sections are encouraged):
1st Section – Theoretical advancement
Papers in this stream will focus on advancing theoretical models in CI &
ICT4D. We expect papers which show how CI & ICT4D can challenge current
models and further theoretical development in communication research.
Issues relevant to this stream include: power in theory and
implementation of ICT-based projects (e.g. critical approaches; power
and CI projects); long term sustainability of projects (e.g. community
ownership); impact, engagement and participation (e.g. engaging policy
makers; top-down and bottom-up transformations); challenging power (e.g.
advocacy; citizen journalism; social movement).
2nd Section – Methods and Epistemologies
Papers in this stream will focus on methodological choices in CI and
ICT4D projects, including: methodological issues in ICT4D (e.g. entering
the field; reliability and replication problems); innovative and
cross-disciplinary methods (e.g. mixed methods approaches; use of social
media; cross-disciplinary methodological insights); participation and
co-design (e.g. lessons learned from participatory intervention;
co-design and user’s experience); cultural diversity and intersectionality.
3rd Section – Lessons from the field
Papers in this stream will present evidences from particular cases (e.g.
case studies, research-interventions, international cooperation
initiatives); examples of community intervention (e.g. working with
rural, marginalized and vulnerable communities); group processes and
cultural aspects (e.g. ICTs and myths; cultural specificities).
Abstract submission – 30 June
You are cordially invited to submit an abstract of no more than 500 words.
Notifications of acceptance to prepare a full paper will be made by
Please email your abstract to: (f.comunello /at/ lumsa.it)
<mailto:(f.comunello /at/ lumsa.it)>
The deadline for submissions of full papers is 30 October 2019
Manuscripts must adhere to the APA 6th Edition Style and should contain
between 5000 and 6000 words (including abstract and all references,
notes, tables, etc.).
Manuscript will undergo blind review process.
Notification of 1st round of review 20 January 2020
Submission deadline for revised manuscript 16 March 2020
Final decision, end of April 2020
In the event of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the
Francesca Comunello (f.comunello /at/ lumsa.it) <mailto:(f.comunello /at/ lumsa.it)>
Simone Mulargia (simone.mulargia /at/ uniroma1.it)
<mailto:(simone.mulargia /at/ uniroma1.it)>
Mauro Sarrica (mauro.sarrica /at/ uniroma1.it) <mailto:(mauro.sarrica /at/ uniroma1.it)>
Denison, T., Sarrica, M., & Stillman, L. (Eds.) (2014). Theories,
Practices and Examples for Community and Social Informatics. Melbourne:
Monash University Publishing
Donner, J. (2008). Research Approaches to Mobile Use in the Developing
World: A Review of the Literature. The Information Society, 24(3),
Sarrica, M., Denison, T., Stillman, L., Chakraborty, T., & Auvi, P.
(2017). “What do others think?” An emic approach to participatory action
research in Bangladesh. AI & SOCIETY.
Stillman, L., & Linger, H. (2009). Community Informatics and Information
Systems: can they be better connected?. The Information Society, 25(4),
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