Community Informatics: Enabling Community Uses of Information and Communications Technology

Community Informatics: Enabling Community Uses of Information and Communications Technology

Michael Gurstein (Technical University of British Columbia, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-69-8.ch001
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Abstract

There is an emerging need for all sectors of society to find ways to optimize the opportunities which information and communications technologies present. Research and development work in Information Systems and information technology has accepted a model of computing where the individual interacts directly with the computer and, through the computer and communication systems, with other individuals. Thus the objective of IT research and development has been to continuously enhance and extend the capabilities of individuals within the context of the corporations, organizations, and governments for which they work. However, ICT also can be used to support communities in their efforts for social and economic development. Community informatics is a technology strategy or discipline which links economic and social development efforts at the community level with emerging opportunities in such areas as electronic commerce, community and civic networks and telecentres, electronic democracy and on-line participation, self-help and virtual health communities, advocacy, cultural enhancement, and others.

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