J. of Community Informatics: CfP Special Issue Community Informatics Rebuilding Egypt, Tunisia…

Posted on February 15, 2011

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Journal of Community Informatics

http://ci-journal.net

Call for Papers: Special Issue

Community Informatics Rebuilding Egypt, Tunisia

Community informatics

…links economic and social development efforts at the community level with emerging opportunities through the use of Information and Communications Technologies in such areas as electronic commerce, community and civic networks and telecentres, electronic democracy and online-participation, self-help and virtual health communities, advocacy, cultural enhancement, and others

…is concerned with carving out a sphere and developing strategies for precisely those who are being excluded from this ongoing rush, and enabling these individuals and communities to take advantage of some of the opportunities which the technology is providing. It is also concerned with enhancing civil society and strengthening local communities for self-management and for environmental and economically sustainable development, ensuring that many who might otherwise be excluded are able to take advantage of the enormous opportunities the new technologies are presenting

The Journal of Community Informatics (http://ci-journal.net) is a focal point for the communication of research of interest to a global network of academics, community informatics practitioners and national and multi-lateral policy makers. We invite submission of original, unpublished articles for a forthcoming special edition of the Journal that will focus on strategies for rebuilding Egypt and Tunisia based on Community Informatics principles of ICT enabled bottom up and community processes, ICT enabled openness and transparency, ICT enabled accountability.

Community informatics is currently firmly implanted in the region through, among others, the Egyptian network of some 1400 IT Clubs (TACCs)—the Egyptian name for telecentres. These centres are active in the following areas among others:

  • “Providing affordable public access to information services to empower community socioeconomic development. The TACCs are open to the general public and have specialized programs that target the needs of the local communities, including professionals, minority groups, children, and students. Internet services are provided on a walk-in basis as well as dialup.
  • Providing professional technical and technological support to professional users from various sectors, including traders, physicians, engineers, teachers, professors, merchants, agricultural producers, industry people, SMEs, environmentalists, and healthcare professionals. This support starts with basic introduction and awareness of where and how ICT can help them in their line of business. Then, based on community needs assessment, the TACC organizes specialized training courses, seminars, workshops, and road shows. Finally, the support can be leveraged up to the level of assisting professionals in reorganizing, reengineering, and managing their businesses to maximize their benefit for ICT. This feature is unique to the TACC and is seen to be crucial if we wish to have a strong impact on development of the local communities.
  • Supporting and empowering the creation of local information content in various sectors, especially multilingual (Arabic/English/French) information content. This is needed to facilitate local and regional information exchange, and to encourage and promote the use of ICT.”

(http://www.isoc.org/inet99/proceedings/3c/3c_1.htm)

The intention with this issue is to contribute to the discussion of strategies for rebuilding Egypt, Tunisia and other countries in the region and beyond.  We believe that a community informatics approach based on a commitment to enabling and empowering local communities within a context of ICTs awareness and application provides an opportunity for leapfrogging these regions into the 21st century.  Therefore we invite contributions in the form of research papers, policy papers, programme proposals, and related materials which can inform the emerging policy and programmed discussions in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere in the region.

Thematic focus

This issue will address the range of areas where a community informatics approach can assist the region to alleviate certain of its immediate problems including in service, training, and security among others. The papers should be examining community-based ICT enabled strategies including in areas such as:

  • Community health and wellness
  • Resource management and sustainable local development
  • Small business development
  • Literacy training
  • Support for primary and secondary education
  • Post-secondary training and out of school skill development and life long learning
  • Community and personal security
  • Services for the elderly
  • Cultural, historical and antiquity management and support
  • Gender and development
  • e-Governance and popular participation
  • Innovation, co-production, Living Labs
  • Technology development and management, peer-to-peer, open source
  • ICTs and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals in the region
  • Open data
  • Community use of remittances for development
  • Mobiles and development

We invite interested authors to submit a 200 word abstract with an indicative paper title. Once abstracts have been reviewed by the editors, successful authors will be invited to submit a full paper. Ideas for short articles on specific experiences and/ or policy and regulatory issues can also be submitted, to be reviewed by the editors. This edition of the Journal will accept submissions in English and Arabic but abstracts should be submitted in English. We will endeavour to provide support for translation as might be required. We anticipate that many of the papers will be in the form of “concept pieces” and will thus be shorter in length (1000-2000 words) with more limited referencing than conventional research papers. Articles that are concerned to distill useful experience with community based ICT strategies from elsewhere that might be useful in “rebuilding” are also encouraged.

A more general discussion on matters relating to this issue will be undertaken on the CIResearchers e-list <http://vancouvercommunity.net/lists/arc/ciresearchers>.

IMPORTANT DATES

Deadlines:

Abstracts—18 days—March 5, 2011

Full Papers—36 days—March 23, 2011

Publication—54 days—April 13, 2011

For information about submission requirements, including author guidelines, please visit:

http://www.ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions

For further information about the Special Issue, for clarifications, comments or suggestions, and to send abstracts of papers for consideration, please contact the following (with “Egypt, Tunisia Special Issue” in the subject line for emails). editor@ci-journal.net