SIGUS: Special Interest Group in Urban Settlement

Information, Technology and Low-Income Communities
A World Bank /SIGUS-MIT One-day Clinic
June 28, 1999

SIGUS organized a 1-day clinic for the World Bank which focused on the explosion of the new information technology and its impact and potentials on upgrading low income communities. The clinic was targeted to World Bank Task Managers as well as others from the development community in Washington involved in designing upgrading programs.

The program had three sessions:
1) An overview of tools and techniques available for the practitioner;
2) A framework for thinking about appropriate and efficacious use of information technology for and by communities, with some examples of emerging technology; and
3) A 'brainstorming session' to explore challenges among practitioners, technology and low income communities. Key questions addressed included:
a) how can upgrading practice take advantage of new information technologies at both the practitioner and community levels? And, perhaps more challenging,
b) how could/would new technology change upgrading as currently practiced, particularly when addressing issues of scaling-up?
The clinic provided an opportunity to brainstorm with leaders in information technology and to learn about innovative experiences in information technology at the community level.
Speakers are drawn from noted MIT faculty and practitioners from developing areas, and included:

· Potentials: Technology, Low Income, Development, Participation
William Mitchell, Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, MIT
· IT Planning Support Systems for Low-Income, Michael J. Shiffer, MIT
· Low-Cost Computer Mapping Systems, Roberto Chavez, World Bank
· Chasquinet: Promoting Strategic Use of ICT in Indigenous Communities of the Andes Region, Karin Delgadillo, Chasquinet, Ecuador
· LINCOS: Prototype Digital Town Centers in Central America, Sandy Pentland, Media Lab, MIT
· Approaches to Community Computing, Anne Beamish, MIT
· Reaching the Digital Future Through Children, Mitchel Resnick, Media Lab, MIT

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A summary poster is available upon request.