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Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

ST4500

Literature Review on Community Informatics ST4500 Luke Verdon 23/1/2012

Community development has always been a central issue for governments, NGOs and other charitable organisations. Disadvantaged communities in developed and developing countries, urban and rural, require resources and funding in order to obtain the skills necessary to improve the quality of life and opportunities available for its members. Focusing on Information and Communication Technology as a means to achieve this has given birth to Community Informatics. By looking at several examples of this it could bring to light if this approach is realistic and effective in aiding those who dwell in underprivileged areas.


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

Table of Contents

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Page Number

Introduction

2

Background

2

Main Body

3

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Thinking Strategically about Community Informatics Community Informatics in Tourism Community Informatics: Challenges in Bridging the Digital Divide Trapped in the Digital Divide Sustaining Community Access to Technology Effective use: A Community Informatics Strategy Beyond the Digital Divide

7. Community Informatics: Hope or Hype?

3 5 6 8 9 10 11

Conclusions

12

Further Research

13

Appendices

14

References

16


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

ST4500

Introduction This literature review explores the effectiveness of Community Informatics (CI) by critiquing seven papers written on the subject along with points taken from other papers. The first paper examines one of the first models developed for CI, the Action, Reaction, Integration (ARI) model which was launched in Rockhampton, Australia. The papers that follow will be assessed on the similar issues discussed in order to find what appear to be the best practices and highlight omissions or assumptions made in other papers. For example a case study involving tourism in remote parts of New Zealand will be compared to Rockhampton as it was one of the success stories of CI. By comparing and contrasting these case studies it will help contextualise the problems each community faces. A central theme in CI is the ‘Digital Divide’ (DD). This is commonly seen as the gap between the technology ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. The divide often runs parallel in terms of social and economic inequalities with other divides we see in society such as white and non-white, rich and poor. The papers studied have very different outlooks on the DD so it is paramount to critique the different views of it as it appears these varied interpretations may be a major factor in the success and failure of several CI initiatives that were carried out. The review will begin with a background of CI in order to give the reader a better understanding of the subject followed by the critique of the papers studied. It will then conclude by asserting the findings gleaned from the articles and a recommendation on what further research should be carried out in order to enhance the effectiveness of CI in the future will be provided.

Background Community Informatics emerged as field of academic research in the mid-1990s. The term was coined by Dr. Michael Gurstein who is still considered to be the leading figure of the field. According to Dr. Gurstein, CI is a “disciplinary hybrid — linking hardware, software and telecommunications as infrastructure (and superstructure); with the social sciences, social and community development; and the professional activities of law, politics, accounting and administration”(Gurstein, 2004).Perhaps this is the reason for such varied approaches to the subject as it touches on so many different areas. He is also the Editor-in-chief of the ‘Journal of Community Informatics’ where most of the information for this review has been sourced. He defines CI twofold: first as “the application of information and communications technologies to enable community processes and the achievement of community objectives “ and “the terminology that is coming to be used to describe the academic discipline and practise for systematically approaching Information Systems from a ‘community’


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

ST4500

perspective.” I feel it is important to clarify this distinction as it is different as a field of study as opposed to a field of research. Community development has certainly been a field of practice before the mid-1990s, whereas CI as a field of study, is commonly agreed upon to still be in its infancy in regards to a “set of core questions, an array of methodological techniques and practices, and a set of theoretical approaches” (Stoecker, 2004). Initially these two sides remained at arm’s length but gradually they are beginning to integrate which will hopefully lead to better theoretical frameworks which can be transferred to pragmatic solutions. The term ‘Digital Divide’ was coined by Lloyd Morrisett in 1996 and as one would expect refers to any inequalities between groups in terms of access, use or knowledge of ICT. Some scholars merely see it as “reinforcing the social and economic stratification that already exist” (Mossberger et al. 2003). Others however believe it to contributes to “other kinds of ‘divides,’ naming the democratic divide, the global divide, the information divide, the opportunity divide, the racial divide, and the social divide among them”(Eubanks, 2007). Any CI strategy is essentially attempting to aid those who are at the wrong side of spectrum which is why CI and the DD go hand in hand.

Main Body 1. Thinking Strategically about Community Informatics: The Action, Reaction, Integration Model A good starting point for analysing the literature based on CI is the paper ‘Thinking Strategically about Community Informatics: The Action, Reaction, Integration (ARI) Model’. The authors assert that there is a strong need for a theoretical model to work upon in CI and examines ARI in a case study in Rockhampton, Australia. The paper begins by arguing ‘Why It Is Important For Communities To Learn To Use IT’ and ‘How Can It Support Community Development’. I am positive that nobody will disagree a strong IT knowledge is an invaluable skill to have in our modern society regardless of background or wealth. It seems trivial to state this but is perhaps attempting to promote the need for funding which is later discussed in the review. The section for how it can be supportive does however go beyond the obvious. Apart from improving an individual’s skill set and making them more attractive to potential employers, ICT enables communities to collaborate better so “the resulting joint effort would lead to stimulation of sustainable local economic activity”(Aspen Institute, 1996). “This assertion is based on the premise that communities have considerable untapped capacity and that IT can help them become aware of this capacity and bring it to fruition”. This


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

ST4500

appears to refer to the sociology concept of ‘Social Capital’ which states there is value in social relations. We can see here how CI leaks into other areas of academia. It is unfortunate that the authors do not expand on this further as I believe it to be a key element. Just assuming a community has an “untapped capacity” seems highly optimistic and incredibly vague. In the Rockhampton case study there is no analysis on what resources or local skills could be exploited or even where this social capital is meant to lie in order to benefit the locals. The article goes on to highlight factors that can interfere with the successful diffusion of IT in communities. The authors build on previous work by Dr. Gurstein to state 6 variables that are critical to the successful diffusion of IT within a CI context: 1. Technology: The degree to which technologies are user friendly for the less computer literate. 2. Motivation: The degree to which community members are motivated to participate in CI projects. 3. Task: If members cannot see any benefit, they’re unlikely to adopt the new technologies. 4. Environment: This would translate into changes to the social and economic environment in which the community is operating. 5. Politics: This refers to the harmonious relationship between community members 6. Culture: This suggests that culture of the community to which the new ITs are being introduced must be compatible with the goals of the project. I feel these factors do provide CI practitioners with a good framework to test if a possible CI project would have a positive outcome and more importantly if a project is infeasible. It is important to mention that CI projects in general are very ambitious undertakings that may not always work as expected so to build a framework to rule out possible failures is essential. Diagram 1(see appendices) explains how the ARI model works: Action: This component of the model is concerned with increasing demand for IT products and services. Reaction: This is defined as activities intended to increase supply of IT products and services. Integration: This is intended to integrate the demand and supply through aggregation of either demand or supply. Variables (Endogenous and Exogenous): Endogenous are variables which are inherent to the community and exogenous are external variables beyond the control of the community. These effect how the ARI activities are done in the context of the community in question.


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

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The main problem I have with this model is it’s assumption of sustainability. To me it is just a division of objectives, which are convincing the community of the benefits they can achieve through IT then providing them access to it. I’m not sure how their aggregation will result in an “upward spiral…, establishing a self sustaining ‘market’ for IT”. The Rockhampton case study was the first use of this model. Action involved a ‘Rural Youth Project’ intended to promote awareness and provide public access to the internet. The second phase saw an increase of the number of internet service providers (ISP) in the city from 2 to 7 as well as a “significant increase in the number of Web design companies”. A community portal supporting a database of local businesses in the city along with online news bulletins was intended to achieve aggregation. What is frustrating about this article is there is no results on the success of the project which does not convince the reader that this model the best possible one. Instead the conclusions suggest areas for further research between the relationship between the endogenous and exogenous variables which I believe would be useful as “one way to understand the digital divide is to view it as a phenomenon that reflects different values of the variables in the model”. The example given is a community who score low in the motivation variable would be less inclined to adopt new technologies even with the financial means to do so. Where as a cohesive community (Politics variable) who believe internet technologies are compatible with their value system (Culture variable) would be more likely to embrace a CI project even with limited financial resource. While I do concede this is an obvious example it does bring to light the significance of examining the feasibility of a possible project which I stressed was important previously. 2. Community Informatics in Tourism While the ARI model lacked a real definition of the possible benefits a CI project could bring to Rockhampton, an initiative for small scale tourism in remote rural areas of New Zealand was very fruitful. I believe the main reason for this is because when a project is aimed at a whole community improvement the needs of the members may come into conflict, which is the politics variable in the previous article. In regards to a specific industry, tourism in this case, the areas in which ICT could be beneficial were clear. This article mentions most tourists find accommodation through their airline. In New Zealand, 85% of accommodation providers were not listed on the airline GDS’s database. The article also references the fact that “community informatics (CI) models are too often centred on the needs of the agency [airlines], and commercial outputs focus on the individual (Mason and Milne, 2001).” One issue accommodation providers had was that many did not generate enough turnover to maintain a merchant account with a credit card company therefore they were forced to deal


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

ST4500

in cash only. This was solved by grouping local providers together to make one account. Although it was a very simple solution it certainly was effective. Also for the providers who had no internet access voice processing software was put in place to convert an online enquiry on a web page from a customer to a recorded message for the tourism provider. One pilot program designed one page websites for accommodation providers using PHP and MS Access which proved to be very successful. The ARI model stressed the importance of the Technology variable which was usability. The programmers certainly understood the importance of this as the article explains. “Using the internet form template requires no special skills or training. Assuming the operator can use a keyboard and mouse all they have to do is to type in answers to questions as they appear. To minimise navigation all the questions are presented in one continuous rolldown screen, with instructions and examples around each question. Data entry is made as simple as possible, with the minimum of typing.” When we look at a problem such as providing accommodation providers with databases and credit card services compared to something such as reducing unemployment or improving economic conditions in a large community the solutions will obviously be much easier to implement for the former. By comparing the case studies in Rockhampton and New Zealand it may suggest that CI is only successful in an industry specific sense as opposed to a whole community. In my opinion it proves that it must be clear what the real issue the community in question faces whether it’s unemployment, crime or a lack of infrastructure and if a technology based solution is the optimum method to solve it. No internet access for a tourism provider is a technology problem; a disadvantaged community is a social problem. 3. Community Informatics: Challenges in Bridging the Digital Divide This is a very enlightening article which asserts that those in rural areas have more to gain from CI than urban dwellers. This was certainly the case in comparing the two case studies of Rockhampton and New Zealand. This reason for this is due to telecommunications infrastructure. “The economics of telecommunications are related to distance. The greater the distance from communities of interest, the greater the savings in travel costs and time which individuals enjoy with improved communications. Unit gains from additional telephones are greatest where density is at its lowest.” The article also lists a feasibility study for CI programmes which was lacking in the ARI model, which is as follows:


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

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1. Identify the needs and priorities of rural communities for such areas as agriculture, education, commerce, natural resource management, health and the like. 2. Determine the types of information needed to help meet those needs, including information gathered from the rural population and transmitted to policy-makers and project designers, and information shared among rural communities. 3. Determine the gaps between the information currently available and what is needed. 4. Determine how ICTs can close those gaps and build valuable synergies by mobilising information across sectors. I feel that the first point links back to what I was saying about CI being more of an industry specific solution. I think it is also a good framework for urban communities even though point 2 suggests it is only for rural communities. The constant inclusion of policy makers is also a very important point. For long term plans especially, the goals of the community may change throughout the course of the project. Local policy makers will help to keep the updating the programme to the current needs of the community. This is similar a common problem small start up businesses face when entering a long term contract for outsourcing their IT department for example. If the company achieves rapid expansion the terms of the contract may need to be reviewed in order to meet the new requirements of the business. In terms of bridging the digital divide the challenges identified are as follows: 1. Costly infrastructure, connectivity and use: While computer prices constantly decline telecommunications are still expensive which inhibits those in rural communities from benefiting. 2. Language of resources: Most training materials on the web are in English which may not be understood by those in some areas. 3. Coordinated approaches and skilled human resources: This involves providing training for those in various industries such as agriculture and education. 4. Awareness of development in ICTs among rural communities: This would be the equivalent of the Action part of the ARI model in making demand for ICT. I believe this to be a good exhaustive list of the problems faced for those at the wrong side of the digital divide especially in rural areas. By looking at some remote communities, Bario in Malaysia was used in this case shows why some have more to gain from CI than others. Of


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

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the district’s 1,200 inhabitants, 90% never used a computer. Research was carried out before the project was undertaken and showed the locals were extremely enthusiastic (motivation variable) at the prospect of gaining access to IT and learning new skills. Again this was not done in Rockhampton, the locals were just told how IT was important and no research into their opinions and attitudes were carried out. Unfortunately the authors explain that while the project was an imminent success the “long term effects on a given society are not readily apparent.” The authors conclude the article calling the digital divide the “greatest challenge” in socioeconomic development and call for further research in this area. 4. Trapped in the Digital Divide: The Distributive Paradigm in Community Informatics While the previous article was good in examining the problems faced for CI projects in rural communities it still does have a very primitive outlook on the digital divide. This outlook puts everyone into one of two categories, the technology ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. This article references the fact that we must go “beyond the narrow boundaries of current definitions of the digital divide, the access divide is only one dimension of a problem that also includes a skills divide, an economic opportunity divide, and a democracy divide.”(Mossberger et al, 2003). It does this by examining the attitudes of low income women of upstate New York and explores why the current view of the DD may not be effective for developing sound CI strategies. The author also points out the “basic assumption of much Digital Divide policy – ‘If you build it, they will come’” is not adequate. A focus group showed that “the powerful symbolism equating computers with technological and social progress contradicts these women’s experiences, resulting in a critical ambivalence towards technology”. With this in mind it is clear merely providing access is not enough. Just assuming everyone sees technology as a path to success can be grossly incorrect. The author mentions that some even see it as a “struggle”, as something to be feared. Women in the focus group where initially asked to sketch drawings representing the DD and the first drawing Diagram 2(see appendices) is line with the common outlook on it. Through further discussion a more comprehensive picture emerged seen in Diagram 3(see appendices). One woman suggested that ICT had the ability to educate those on the ‘have’ side of the realities of life for those on the other side which is represented by the blue arrows in the sketch. It was also argued that the have-nots “actually have a wealth of knowledge and skills, as well as their labour, to trade and barter” and that the “bridge [symbol] over the digital divide underestimates the skills and resources of the people on the ‘deficit’ side of the divide”. Social Capital makes another appearance here like the first article. These untapped resources are very important when considering what skills or local businesses can be


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

ST4500

improved upon by ICT which again links back to how important feasibility studies are. Overall this article really brings to light the social problems rooted in the DD. I would be very cynical of the notion of CI informing people about the struggles of those on the have-not side. To me, this is a problem of apathy and I don’t see any possible way ICT will combat this. What it interesting to note that the more the DD is studied the more it appears to be about social justice than merely a case of an ‘information deficit’. In looking at the problem of the DD in those terms in does ask the question does ICT provide the necessary tools for change. It certainly is a powerful tool for connection but in combating apathy and greed I am not so convinced. 5. Sustaining Community Access to Technology: Who Should Pay and Why! The main focus of the article as the title suggests is the “major problem…concerning the digital divide is one of financial sustainability” which the author claims should be provided by the government. Many CI project are composed mainly of volunteers and part time staff so hiring full time staff is required. In general the article mentions the problem of access. Diagram 4(see appendices) illustrates home internet access for different income brackets. There is little surprise that those with less money are less likely to have internet access and it is completely redundant to point it out. There is little in this article that goes beyond the glaringly obvious. One community consortium including 7 municipalities had a project hoping to secure funding for infrastructure improvement. This was important because in some communities digital access cost from $3,000 to $5,000 per month due to lack of telecommunications in the area. The project ran into some problems included premature implementation, no clarity in regarding what was expected or wanted from the community and the requirements constantly shifting. This problem is obviously on going in the field. Due to these problems the author asserts: “These examples reinforce the primary reason why the federal government should provide on-going sustainable funding to the community organizations that provide access and learning networks. These are directly related to the services and information being provided to local citizens as public goods intended for overall social and economic development and betterment.” It is very puzzling to me how a project’s failure due to poor implementation justifies government spending. Governments and businesses are already incredibly sceptical of IT investments. According to surveys in the US 31% of IT projects are abandoned before completion and 53% of projects suffer 90% or greater overruns. If you consider this along


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

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with the point raised in article 3 about the long term effects of CI being difficult to evaluate it would be very difficult to convince executives or government officials to fund something that they cannot see the benefit of. The article seems incredibly short sighted and assumes throwing more money at it is the solution. There is no doubt securing funding is important but when we consider the previous article’s point about the DD being more than an ‘information deficit’, financial stability is possibly not as the author suggests, the major problem with CI.

6. Effective use: A community informatics strategy beyond the Digital Divide The key figure of CI, Michael Gurstein takes an incredibly sharp stance on the subject of the DD and concludes that it is “little more than a marketing campaign for Internet service providers.” Like article 4 Gurstein argues that the common outlook on the DD is patronizing and a “major diversion from what are the truly important questions which might be addressed”. He also discusses that ‘access’ on its own is not going to cause any major improvements and debates the ambiguity of the term. Telecenters, WiFi, Dial-up, he states, all provide access but it is never really discussed which is the optimum provider in certain circumstances which I believe is a good point and a serious oversight in much of the literature. In order to achieve ‘effective use’ of ICTs he believes that “the focus is not simply on one of the possible "tools" for development (access) but rather highlights the entire "development process" including the infrastructure, hardware, software, and social organizational elements that all must be combined for development to occur.” This would include the following points: 1. Carriage facilities: What telecommunications service infrastructure is needed? 2. I/O devices: What instruments are needed to complete certain activities such as Personal Digital Assistants(PDA) or printers for text production 3. Tools and Support: What software, services supports are requires? Such as databases 4. Content services: This involves language, literacy levels of specific communities 5. Services access: This includes training facilities , links to social networks 6. Social facilitation: How local authorities, NGOs etc are needed to enable desired application of use of ICTs 7. Governance: What financining, regulatory or policy regime is needed to provide effective implementation?


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

ST4500

Comparing these points to article 3 which although is enlightening in highlighting the challenges in bridging the digital divide, it is still under the assumption that access is the key. The ‘If you build it, they will come’ approach mentioned previously is in line with Dr. Gurstein’s view that access on its own is simply not adequate in causing any real change. By examining the seven points made it does seem to provide a more comprehensive framework in addressing the problems faced for a CI project, especially regarding social facilitation and governance. As I mentioned previously these are areas that will certainly be beyond the scope of academics in IT and falls under the umbrella of sociology more. I feel that the lack of expertise in this area from those undertaking CI initiatives may be a root cause for the high failure rate. Overall though this article is very effective in stressing the point that we must look “away from the access crisis of the Digital Divide toward strategies which will be of more direct benefit to end users in developing countries.” 7. Community Informatics: Hope or Hype? This article is incredibly illuminating as it takes a step back from the underlying assumptions made by others and examines, in an almost philosophical way, what are we really saying when we assert we can improve communities with IT. The author begins by stating “much of the current literature on community informatics tends to be speculative, reflecting optimistic, futuristic assumptions about the potential role that information technology can play in improving cities and urban communities” and I agree with this statement entirely. The criticisms of CI in this article are grouped into three categories 1. Methodological: He argues that much CI advocates are non critical of their work. There never seems to be any discussion of possible negative consequences from their proposals which include escapism, passivity and psychological distancing. This is a very good point as from all the literature I examined, including ones not included in the review, had not even considered the remotest possibility that a CI project could end up doing more harm than good. 2. Philosophical: Here the author cites prominent philosophers such as Weber and Ellul who represent "a grand tradition of romantic protest against mechanization" which argues that "technology is not neutral but embodies specific values." He highlights the deterministic outlook on technology which views technology leading to progress in a linear course. This outlook ignores lessons learned from history such as “seemingly innocuous technical innovations such as mechanical looms, automobiles, and piped water systems have always had negative, as well as positive, impacts”(cite). He uses this to air a mode of caution at CI advocates and again raises the question of the possible unintended side effects ICT can cause.


Luke Verdon 3.

Literature Review on Community Informatics

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Ideological: This critique van also fit in with the philosophical side. He believes traditional modernist views of technology have lead to a form of ‘technocracy’ and cites Alcoff who challenged the right of experts to “speak for others” because "as all forms of communication and representation are biased by the contexts of both the giver and receiver”. This is a point somewhat discussed in article 4 for which stated that those on the ‘have-not’ side still had something to offer the opposite side and that the ‘have’ side should learn see CI as an opportunity to educate themselves on the ‘have-nots’. This does suggest that those coming into a foreign community with a ‘solution’ may not understand the context of the problem which I have stressed repeatedly.

This paper is concluded by stating the “purpose of the paper was to analyze the assumptions inherent in community informatics in order chart a balanced course between indiscriminate hope and careless hype” and “keeping in mind the danger of uncritical methodologies, simplistic philosophies and elitist ideologies.” Without a doubt I recognized the general optimistic tone of all the literature I have read and this articles demand for caution is in my opinion, the most important message stated in the field of CI.

Conclusion Throughout all the research of CI I must admit I have gain a rather sceptical outlook on the field. Improving telecommunication infrastructure and improving the IT literacy for those who are at the disadvantaged side of the DD is certainly important. I would find it very difficult for anybody to disagree with that. However when you see this as a means to fight global problems such as social justice it is not going to solve issues of greed and apathy which are a root cause of global inequality in general. In a rural context however it does seem CI has some use as the gains are greater than ones in an urban context. This was the main issue of the third article and it does appear to have some merit. One of the main themes discussed were going beyond just provide access and achieving a sustainable model of growth. This is obviously very difficult due to the complexities of communities in different areas throughout the world. It is important however to note the success of the New Zealand case study. This does suggest when a problem is clearly defined CI can provide solutions. However is this example really a community problem? It certainly appears more to be a basic technology gap for a specific industry in a small pocket of the globe. In my opinion is seems that when a clear problem exists for a people with common goals in an isolated community CI can be effective but by its definition CI is aimed at general community improvement through ICT. Attempting to use CI to bring about social


Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

ST4500

change, which may be the real issue faced in underprivileged communities, it is out of its depth.

Further Research As a relatively new field of study CI certainly has areas that require further investigation such as an expansion on the possible negative effects of CI mentioned in ‘Community Informatics: Hope or Hype?’ If these projects are to be undertaken it should be made clear what all the possible outcome are, including the negative ones. Also there is a serious deficit of research in terms of providing communities with internet access. As Michael Gurstein highlighted, access is a very broad term so studies into which forms of are appropriate in different contexts would be useful, whether this be Wi-Fi, DSL or any other form of access. Discovering the long term effects of CI is also crucial but appears to be difficult. Perhaps not enough time has passed for this to happen so possibly examining the current state of Rockhampton would be useful. The call for more research in article one about the relationship between the endogenous and exogenous variable may also be justified as it could lead to a better understanding of the communities leading to more appropriate solutions used.


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Appendices Diagram 1:

Diagram 2:

Literature Review on Community Informatics

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Luke Verdon Diagram 3:

Diagram 4:

Literature Review on Community Informatics

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Luke Verdon

Literature Review on Community Informatics

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References Gurstein. (2004) The Journal of Community Informatics, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 2-4 Stoecker (2004) “Is Community Informatics Good for Communities”, The Journal of Community Informatics. Mossberger et. al. (2003) “Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide”, Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Romm et al (2001) “Thinking Strategically about Community Informatics: The Action, Reaction, Integration Model”, AMCIS 2000 Proceedings. Paper 120. Aspen Institute (2004) “Measuring Community Capacity”, The Aspen Institute Washington Mason et. al. (2003) “Community Informatics in Tourism”, Proceedings of the Second Tourism Technology Futures Forum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, pp 37-45. Milne et al. (2001) “Tourism, Web-Raising and Community Development”, Springer Wein, New York, pp 283-94 Songan et. al. (2004) “Community Informatics: Challenges in Bridging the Digital Divide”, The E-Bario and E-Bedian Telecommunication Framework. Seventh Conference on Work With Computer Systems. Eubanks (2007) “Trapped in the Digital Divide: The Distributive Paradigm in Community Informatics”, The Journal of Community Informatics. Rideout et. al. (2005) “Sustaining Community Access to Technology: Who Should Pay and Why!”, The Journal of Community Informatics. Gurstein (2003) “Effective Use: A Community Informatics Strategy Beyond The Digital Divide”, First Monday, Volume 8, Number 12 Pitkin (2001) “Community Informatics: Hope or Hype?”, Proceedings of the 34th Annual Hawaii International Conference. Alcoff (1995) “The Problem of Speaking for Others, In Who Can Speak?”, University of Illinois Press.


Literature Review on Community Informatics