Accepted Position Papers are now online!
Schedule (Coming Soon)





Key Dates/ Updates

  • Accepted Position: Papers are posted!
  • February 12, 2011: Workshop!


Users in the developing world continue to appropriate Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in pioneering ways. Take, M-Pesa, the popular mobile money transfer system developed in Kenya. This example demonstrates how innovative applications emerge from users in resource-constrained settings. The goals of our workshop are twofold: 1) to uncover more of these examples and 2) to discuss how they can influence design in developed countries. We welcome submissions that reveal innovative ICT practices occurring among marginalized populations, including those in developing countries, the urban homeless, rural Americans, migrant communities, and so forth. In addition to position papers, we encourage photo- or video-essays that highlight innovative uses of ICT among marginalized users. Practitioners, designers, and other who do not typically present their work at academic conferences are highly encouraged to submit to the workshop.

For more information refer to our proposal. [PDF]



The activities in this workshop will focus on the following themes:

Uncovering examples of innovative ICT practices outside of the “mainstream” user-base: “Hackers” and other users are adapting existing objects, creatively re-using materials to fit specific local circumstances. Simple examples, such as the re-use of water bottle caps, have the potential to offer a counter-narrative to the primacy of the designer’s vision in ICT design. This re-use of materials contrasts with advertising that encourages us to upgrade hardware in order to take advantage of next-generation services.

Questioning the dualistic schemes such as “developed” and “developing” regions: Uncovering marginalized users’ innovative ICT practices contributes to HCI4D discourse by surfacing questions about what countries should (and should not) be categorized as “developing.”  We want to build on Irani and her colleagues’ concerns about the term “development” in HCI4D discourse. Specifically, they argue the rhetoric underlying current HCI4D research positions low-income countries as the passive recipients and consumers of products from “developed” regions. Our focus on reciprocity will highlight the benefits of an active two-way exchange and problematize the idea of “development” as a unilateral process. As examples of the benefits of this reciprocity, consider M-Pesa, a popular mobile-based money transfer service, which demonstrates how innovations taking place in developing countries can have a positive impact for users all over the world. Using the mobile phone as a banking system originated in Kenya, is now popular throughout Japan, and is now beginning to be available in the U.S. 

Exploring alternatives to designing for differences: Focusing on reciprocity in CSCW research will allow us to uncover similarities between various contexts and user groups which at first glance may seem very different. Focusing on similarities rather than differences in an increasingly interconnected world is one way to uncover the underlying motives that drive ICT collaboration across the planet.

Ideas for incorporating the lessons learned in HCI4D Research and Design into mainstream CSCW/HCI: Within CSCW and related communities (e.g., HCI and UbiComp) there is a tendency to imagine a future filled with new technologies. In contrast, prior HCI4D research suggests users in developing regions work to design systems that extract more functionality from existing or previous generation hardware [5] and maintain computing devices rather than discarding them. These examples have clear implications for CSCW/HCI researcher interested in sustainable product design and demonstrate that much can be learned from marginalized users current ICT practices.


Accepted Position Papers

Belani, H., Croatian Institute for Health; Car, Z.,University of Zagreb, "Requirements for Developing ICT Services for People with Complex Communication Needs."

Brown, D. and Grinter, R.E., Georgia Tech, "Remote Parenting: ICT use among Jamaican Migrant Parents, Left-Behind Children and their Caregivers."

Dombrowski, L., U.C. Irvine, "Tensions in the Use and Adoption of Technologies for Outreach."

Gonsalves, T.A., IIT-Mandi; Dittrich, Y., IT University of Copenhagen; Vaidyanathan, L., Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI); Jhunjhunwala, A, TeNeT Group,"Prototyping Socio-Technical Systems for Banking Services for Rural India."

Grubb, A.M. and Eastbrook, S.M., University of Toronto,The Road to Farming Software is Paved with Good Intentions.",

Koepfler, J.A. University of Maryland; Kaplan, N.R., BRIDGE, "Learning from our own backyard: Social Media use and tool development by the urban homeless."

Liu, L. and Liu, Y.,Nokia Research Center, Beijing, "Mobile Service Design for Migrant Workers in China."

Rangaswamy, N., Microsoft Research, India; Nair, S. Virginia Tech, "Marginal Rich Users in Urban India Slums."

Sánchez, G.D., University of Copenhagen, "Appropriation Practices of Innovative ICT in rural Veracruz, Mexico."

Williams, K., Cornell University, "Future Tense: Developing visions of ICT."



To be determined



Susan Wyche, Virginia Tech, Computer Science Department

Elisa Oreglia, U.C. Berkeley, School of Information

Morgan Ames, Stanford University, Department of Communication

Chris Hoadley, New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Aditya Johri, Virginia Tech, Department of Engineering Education,

Phoebe Sengers, Cornell University, Information Science/ Science & Technology Studies

Charles Steinfield, Michigan State University, Department of Telecommmunication, Information Studies, and Media