Research: A Community-driven approach to Community Informatics

Stakeholders in a community project commonly include academics, businesses, and people from within the community. Community empowerment is a central motivation for community informatics; however it is debatable how the community is empowered and benefits from many community research projects.

RLabs have published a paper titled “RLABS: A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE ON A COMMUNITY-DRIVEN APPROACH TO COMMUNITY INFORMATICS” that presents the RLabs community-driven case study, identifying factors that aid or hinder community-driven technological innovations. This case study also identifies the community as the main stakeholder and identifies the factors that aid or hinder community empowerment. The conclusion is that the Living Labs approach (one which RLabs have adopted) is an appropriate and effective vehicle for community empowerment and informatics.

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