David Brake reports a new academic initiative in London to bring together graduate students and other researchers interested in the Internet and Development.
Recently a group drawn from seven countries announced creation of a formal Community Informatics Research Network... so interest in the field appears to be growing.... among academics anyway.
Community Informatics: Enabling Communities With Information and
At the Many Voices, Many Places - Electronically Enabling Communities for An
Information Society Colloquium http://www.ccnr.net/prato2003/ held at the
Monash University Centre in Prato, Italy a group of participants from some 7
countries and representing a variety of universities and research networks
agreed to proceed to the creation of a formal Community Informatics Research
Network (.Org) (CIRN).
There was an agreement by the CIRN Interim Committee of the Whole that the
organization would be open to participation and membership by individuals,
institutions, for profit and not for profit enterprises and networks, with
an active interest and involvement in Community Informatics Research and
particularly those from Developing Countries. The approach agreed to was
also that this organisation would seek to build a network of the related
organizations that for subject, language or other reasons feel more
comfortable operating on their own. In other words it would be pro-actively
facilitating the formation of a structured open network among CI research
An interim executive steering committee consisting of Michael Gurstein,
NJIT; Peter Day, U. of Brighton; and Don Schauder, Monash U./Wal Taylor,
Central Queensland U., and Larry Stillman of Monash U. as the Interim
Secretary/webmaster was formed to work towards the timely incorporation of
the group as a not for profit society under the Australian corporations act.
In addition, an invitation was extended by Dr. Peter Day and Brighton
University to host CIRN's first research conference in the spring of 2004.
The Founding conference of CIRN it was agreed, would be hosted by Monash
University at the Prato Centre in late September 2004.
It was also agreed that the CI Researchers list
http://vancouvercommunity.net/lists/ciresearchers would be the e-list for
the organization and that a website based on the design developed by CQU
would go on line as soon as possible and hosted by Monash U. in conjunction
Michael Gurstein agreed to provide an interim linkage with the newly created
CI Research Network of the Commonwealth of Independent States formed in
conjunction with the St. Petersburg (BIC) conference
Several members of the Interim Committee of the Whole agreed to liase with a
variety of other CI research networks and specifically the CRACIN network in
Canada and the network which is currently being created in the United
It was further agreed that efforts would be undertaken to find resources to
move forward with the continued development of the Open Archive Community
Informatics Text Book building on the work of Sergei Stafeev, Mike Gurstein
and Michel Menou in the publication in English and Russian of Community
Networking and Community Informatics: Prospects, Approaches, Instruments
Part 1 of a CI Text book (St. Petersburg, 2003) And the website
A statement to be forwarded to the World Summit on the Information Society
on behalf of CIRN was adopted and will be circulated in a subsequent
Those with an interest in either affiliating with the Network or learning
more about it are invited to subscribe to the Research list or to the more
general Community Informatics interest list.
To subscribe send a message
Peter Day, U. of Brighto
Michael Gurstein, NJI
Don Schauder, Monash U./Wal Taylor, Central Queensland U.
Community Informatics Researchers News:
* An informal meeting in conjunction with the Information,
Communications and Society Conference at the Oxford Internet Institute in
the UK http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/event/conference/iCS/iCS2003_programme.pdf ,
agreed that efforts would be undertaken immediately to begin the development
of an on-line journal with interim resource support committed as available
through NJIT/NSF; CIRA in Teeside, UK; Monash U. in Australia; and the
CRACIN Network in Canada. A follow-up meeting to "brainstorm" on the design
and development of the journal will be held in conjunction with the AoIR
meeting in Toronto in October and with an interim discussion on the
CIResearchers e-list as a lead-up to that meeting.
* Dr. Peter van den Besselaar, Head of the Social Sciences
Department Netherlands Institute of Scientific Information, Royal
Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, (NIWI-KNAW) presented an important
outline of the scope of Community Informatics Research including its links
to his own work in Digital Cities and related Community Networks, in a
keynote presentation at the Communities and Technology Conference in
Amsterdam http://www-winfo.uni-siegen.de/wulf/CT2003/ .
* Brian Loader and Leigh Keeble of CIRA/U. of Teeside with funding
from the Rowntree Foundation have prepared a most valuable annotated
bibliography of Community Informatics Research which they will be making
available on line in the very near future. It is their intention to keep
this up to date as a continuing resource for the CI Research Community.
* A Workshop bringing together US Community Informatic researchers
and Practitioners was convened in April in Colorado Springs with the
sponsorship of the Ford Foundation and organized by Richard Civille and
Michael Gurstein. It was agreed at that meeting that follow-up action
towards the creation of a US CI Researchers group would be undertaken as
well as a number of other related follow-up initiatives.
* The CQU/COIN team including Wal Taylor and Stewart Marshall have
just published two books including "Using Community Informatics to Transform
Regions" through the Idea Group publishers and "Closing the Digitial Divide"
with Greenwood Publisher. They are pleased to invite Community Informatics
researchers and practitioners to the
Upcoming 5th annual ITiRA conference (IT in Regional Areas) in Caloundra,
Queensland, Dec. http://itira.cqu.edu.au/2003/
* Bulletin: The CRACIN (Canadian Research Alliance For Community
Innovation And Networking) proposal: PI's Andrew Clement, U. of Toronto;
Michael Gurstein, NJIT; and Leslie Shade, Concordia U. has just been awarded
a major 3 year grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council to undertake a series of community IT/Community Informatics
case studies across Canada and in conjunction with the larger CI Researchers
Network. There will be a presentation on the project at the AoIR conference
in Toronto Oct. 17.