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Matthew Kam <[log in to unmask]>
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Matthew Kam <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 19 Oct 2008 10:42:30 -0700
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(Apologies for cross-posting. Please note the extended deadline, and
possibility of travel support for developing country participants.)

Human-Centered Computing in International Development
Workshop at CHI '09 Conference ( 
April 4-5, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts, USA 

From Kansas to Kigali, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
have evolved to reach wider audiences in the past few decades, resulting in
changes in goals, context, and target groups, as well as ethical contexts.
This leads us to ask the critical question of who we are designing for, how,
and why. On the one hand, interactive applications have permanently affected
the field of Human-computer Interaction, whose concerns were traditionally
cognitive. On the other hand, interactive systems are increasingly taken up
in the developing world, both by richer urban elites and growing middle
classes, and by urban and rural users in more economically marginal areas.
These situations involve very different contexts of use, and demand new
design solutions. In designing for inclusivity, these ICT tools are of value
to the end-user only if they are made relevant. More than ever, therefore,
it is important, to cultivate design practices that allow for meaningful
embedding of interactive systems in the cultural, infrastructural, and
political settings where they will be used.

The goal of the workshop is to exchange success/failure stories,
methodologies, and best practices, to develop new partnerships, and to learn
from each other. The workshop is open to anyone in fields such as
Human-Computer Interaction, International Development, Social Sciences,
Public policy, Computer Science, Education, Economics, and Healthcare who is
interested in contributing to this dialogue.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

- Sustainability: A key tension between research and development projects is
that of developing sustainable projects - when sustainability generally goes
well beyond the scope of typical research

- Governments, Policies: We are often working in countries that are not our
own, and must deal with foreign governments. Selected participants will
share insights on working with local governments, importing equipment and
securing permission to do research.

- Development Theory: Working towards building a common vocabulary, workshop
participants with grounding in development theory will be asked to think
about what should be considered foundational knowledge for researchers
working on human-centered design for international development


Please send a 2-4 page position paper describing one of the following: 

* your experience in this area, 
* your findings, 
* your interest aligned with the above topics, 
* methodologies you have used in research or practice that you feel might be
relevant in this area, 
* some other appropriate question you might want to discuss at the workshop,
* a proposal you might have for a collaborative group HCI4D task (i.e. the
website or the joint bibliography), 

which we could debate at the workshop.

To participate in this workshop at CHI 2009, e-mail position papers to
Nithya Sambasivan at [log in to unmask] Deadline for submissions is
October 31, 2008. (Note extended deadline.) Notification of acceptance is
on/around 28th November, 2008.

UPDATE: We hope to secure funding to provide travel support for participants
from developing countries. If you would like to be considered for travel
support, please indicate as such by sending an email to Matthew Kam at
[log in to unmask] by October 23, 2008.


Susan Dray (Dray and Associates, Inc., USA)
Melissa Ho (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Matthew Kam (Carnegie Mellon University / UC Berkeley, USA)
Neesha Kodagoda (Middlesex University, UK)
Ann Light (Video Educational Trust/QMUL, UK)
Nithya Sambasivan (University of California, Irvine, USA)
John C. Thomas (IBM T.J. Watson Research, USA)


Andrew Dearden (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)
Jose Abdelnour-Nocera (Thames Valley University, UK)
Ban Al-Ani (University of California, Irvine, USA)
Michael Best (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
Matt Jones (Swansea University, UK)
Yishay Mor (London Knowledge Lab, UK)
Osvaldo Rodriguez (Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina)
Josh Underwood (London Knowledge Lab, UK)
Niall Winters (London Knowledge Lab, UK)

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