Digital opportunities for crisis work and international development

Posted by pt91 at Nov 24, 2016 12:37 PM |
University of Leicester launches Newton Tech4Dev Network bridging academics, humanitarians, and developing country partners on 25 & 26 November

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 24 November 2016

The role of communications and technology in crises worldwide are to be discussed at an event that launches a new international network of researchers.

On 25 - 26 November, the University of Leicester will launch the Newton Tech4Dev Network which gathers a global consortium of scholars to advance research on digital technologies in the low- and middle-income countries.

Organised around three research clusters on disaster management and digital media; crisis cultures and convivialities; and digital sweatshops; the network aims to develop new research projects that address these cluster themes.

The event ‘Crisis Work and Digital Opportunities’ invites reflection on the significance of communication technologies for crisis work, such as when reporting and responding to conflict, natural disasters, and forced migration. It also considers emergent media and their opportunities for facilitating political participation, socio-economic development, and financial inclusion. Together the presenters offer a bottom-up, contextually diverse, and culturally sensitive approach to technologies for development.

The Newton Tech4Dev Network is funded by a British Council Institutional Links grant of £300,000, with Dr Jonathan Ong as the Principal Investigator at the University of Leicester and Dr Julio Teehankee as Principal Investigator in De La Salle University.

Dr Ong, from Leicester’s School of Media, Communication and Sociology, said: “Good development research that meaningfully addresses the needs of local communities requires building strong and trusting relationships among researchers and institutions. This event is an invitation to cross academic disciplinary boundaries and link up with policymakers and developing country partners in the shared aim of thinking through how communications and technology are embedded within sustainable development goals."

The launch event will create an inclusive and intersectoral space to build linkages with diverse partners and plan collaborations toward future Overseas Development Assistance projects, researcher exchange programmes, and scholarship schemes.

The event begins with a keynote speech from Philippe Stoll, Deputy Head of Public Communication of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. Other development and humanitarian agencies present are: Communication with Disaster-Affected Communities Network, Com4Dev, and International Media Support.

Funded by a British Council Newton Fund Institutional Links grant, the Newton Tech4Dev Network formalizes a partnership between the University of Leicester and De La Salle University Philippines, facilitating initiatives around capacity-building, internationalization, and research impact.

The event is also supported by the Media and Development Research Group in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester, CAMEo — the Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, De La Salle University College of Liberal Arts, and Keele University Centre for Social Policy.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

For more information contact Dr Jonathan Ong at jco10@le.ac.uk.

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