Who are We?
We are a group of 4 students at Malmo University and this blog has been created as part of Communication for Development MA programme.
We have never actually met. We live across different corners of the globe and we bring a unique combination of experiences and perspectives.
So that is us in a very small nutshell……. but the more interesting questions is:
Why do we Care?
Did we have to create this blog as part of our academic programme? YES!!!
Did we get to pick the subject? YES!!!
Do we each have personal reasons for caring about this topic? YES!!!
“What narrow norms do I support and reproduce because I don’t recognize them and how can I learn to challenge them instead?”
SH: “Seeing the world through the lens of disability – or different abilities – is for me a way of trying to stretch my vision 360 degrees. It is about being aware of whom I include and whom I exclude and constantly exploring what it is that limits the ways I think and act. What narrow norms do I support and reproduce because I don’t recognize them and how can I learn to challenge them instead?
I have long experience from asking these questions within art work and communication, but ICT and ICT4D is a new field for me, and I therefore look forward to making all the mistakes one has to make in order to learn something new.”
“For me it’s important to enhance critical reflection and to shed light on the blind spots within our society and the work we do.”
JW: “One would imagine that development programs always include the totality of a population at stake either through direct or indirect inclusion, since nobody should be excluded from a program happening in his/her territories. Reality is different though. To raise awareness about groups that are often excluded from development programs and agendas means to critically reflect upon the development we promote and highlights that development programs that do not manage to be inclusive would need additional programs afterwards to include the formerly excluded. Whenever development programs exclude groups that are already experiencing a disadvantaged position within society, instead of improving social conditions and bringing about social change, enhance conditions that hinder social change. Therefore it’s important to raise awareness about the blind spots of development programs and to create platforms to question them. For me it’s important to enhance critical reflection and to shed light on the blind spots within our society and the work we do.”
“We become so focused on the ‘hot topics’ of today and don’t even realize that we have put blinders on.”
RC: “Before this topic was suggested by another classmate- the idea of examining the ICT4D in aid work with a focus on disabilities had never occurred to me. As soon as I started to think about it though, the fact that after years on studies as well as years of experience working in international NGOs the topic had NEVER come up shocked me. We become so focused on the ‘hot topics’ of today and don’t even realize that we have put blinders on. After the multitude of mistakes made in the history of development work – how have we let 1 billion people remain invisible? Why are they not part of our focus in academia? In the workplace? In life?”
“I want us to go one step further and think about how we also can ensure that the ICT4D initiatives that are set up are inclusive by design.”
VM “We are living in an increasingly connected and digitalized world, which offers many opportunities for development. But it does not come without challenges and also raises questions about participation. The literature often asks how do we make ICT work for development, but I want us to go one step further and think about how we also can ensure that the ICT4D initiatives that are set up are inclusive by design. I want to also look at the opportunities that ICT4D can provide for the ‘invisible 1 billion’. How can and should we raise awareness and ensure that we spread best practices in order to make ICT4D more inclusive.”