Miss Fernanda Scur

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My research examines the communication processes operating within social networks in the context of Brazilian Initiatives focusing on Information and Communication Technologies for Development. Conceptually, I explore three bodies of literature in the Brazilian context: development theory, digital ICT in development practices, and partnership collaboration. I draw  on this literature to build a framework to understand the processes involved at the intersection of these three areas, particularly drawing on concepts borrowed from systems (Bateson, 1979; Maturana and Varela, 1992; Luhmann, 1996; Capra and Luisi, 2014) and complex network theories (Granovetter, 1973; Watts and Strogatz, 1998; Barabási, 2003; Benkler, 2006).The main question that my thesis seeks to answer is:

What role do individual actions play in forwarding or hindering effective collaboration at the unfolding network interaction patterns of ICT4D initiatives?

Through an explicitly systemic and participatory approach, I focus on the on-going dialogue among partners in the organizations in which I worked, as well as their interpretation of these processes, through qualitative methods including participant observation, focus-group discussions and individual semi-structured interviews.

My research contributes empirically to discussions on the use of systemic approaches and social network mapping methodologies applied to ICT4D partnerships.My particular interest in around the diversity of contexts and also the small amount of time that ICT4D initiatives usually make available to discuss their partnership mechanisms. The hope is that my research helps practitioners, researchers and decision-makers with knowledge around the emergent networks of the initiatives into which they are inserted, so as to harness their creative potential towards project’s successful outcomes.


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