13th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries
Conference Theme – Openness in ICT4D: Critical Reflections on Future Directions
Jetwing Blue, Negombo – Sri Lanka, 20-22 May, 2015
Various discourses around “openness” are present in the domain of ICT and development studies. An initial discourse in this area related to open source software and open standards, and how these can strengthen public information systems in developing countries. In recent times, we read about “open data” which involve governments placing relevant data in the public domain, and which may or may not require to be supported by open software. Open development is a more overarching theme being positioned as a theory of development, focusing on understanding how information-networked activities are carried out, in what circumstances and to what benefit. This openness discourse continues to unfold in a political-technical environment of increasingly centralized computing (cloud), cyber-crime, cyber-terrorism and increasingly comprehensive surveillance.
The conference theme of “Openness in ICT4D: Critical reflections on future directions” will seek to critically discuss different facets of open and openness, whether they represent a hype or reality, what promises they hold for creating a better world, and what are the challenges we face in achieving the promised potential. To do this we welcome contributions from a wide range of perspectives, discussing for example potential tensions between open source and open data, the role of actors like the open society initiative in promoting openness as a value, and positive and negative freedoms.