This website has been built to serve as a home for the Connectivity, Inclusiveness, and Inequality (CII) group based at the Oxford Internet Institute. We are a multidisciplinary group of researchers interested in the difference that information and communication technologies make to the world’s most disadvantaged people and places.
We know that ICTs can change how people and organizations interact with each other. We know that they can reconfigure and disrupt social networks, value chains, geographic spaces, information flows, and many other facets of the human experience. But we know relatively little about who ultimately benefits (and doesn’t) from those reconfigurations and disruptions.
It is precisely because ICTs can empower, disempower, entrench power, as well as circumvent power, that our group seeks to understand the many roles that they play in inclusion and inequality. We aim to understand the differences that ICTs and changing connectivities make at the world’s economic peripheries; to ask and uncover who the winners and losers of new and reconfigured connectivities are; and to critically consider what ‘development’ is, and should be, in a hyper-connected age.
In the coming years, we hope to use this website to share our work, to start conversations and dialogues, and to consolidate our findings into forms that may be useful to other scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and anyone else thinking about who benefits and who doesn’t from the world’s changing connectivity.
Mark Graham and Vili Lehdonvirta. Oxford, June 2014