16TH CIRN CONFERENCE 24-26 October 2018

Monash University Prato Centre, Italy


The Conference Proceedings are available here


Since the founding colloquium in 2003, the CIRN conferences have been marked by informality, collegiality and interdisciplinary thinking, bringing together people from many different countries in an ideal Italian setting. Themes have ranged across issues such as privilege, gender and sexual identities, forms of knowledge, documentation, participation and community-based research, power, ideals and reality, measurement, and the applied arts. While we have a particular theme each year we also seek papers (referred, work-in-progress, non-refereed), presentations and papers (including Graduate student presentations) related to any aspect of Community Informatics Community Archiving, or Development Informatics, or the Art, and Archives Memories and ICTs space. We are particularly interested in papers from researchers and practitioners that can address the challenges of locating community-focussed research within wider theoretical and practice frameworks. We also have a Research Student (Masters and PhD) presence and encourage the presentation of current or planned work in colloquium sessions. This is a great opportunity for interaction with other students in an international setting.

For past events, archives etc, please see cirn.wikispaces.com. The host is being closed and alternative arrangements are being sought for a continuing site. Alternatively, look for the link on archive.org.


Community Informatics is primarily concerned with improving the well-being of people and their communities through more effective use of ICTs. Community Informatics foregrounds social change and transformative action in emergent social-technical relationships rather than prediction and control and likewise, Development Informatics or ICT4D is concerned with ICTs in the international development context. This orientation also has much in common with Community Archiving. Community-centric archival research, education and practice are concerned with empowering communities in support of such desirable objectives as democracy, human and civil rights, self-determination, sustainable development, and social inclusion. Recordkeeping and archiving are fundamental infrastructural components supporting community information, self-knowledge and memory needs, thus contributing to resilient communities and cultures and supporting reconciliation and recovery in the aftermath of conflict, oppression. Development Informatics (also called ICT4D) is involved with the use of ICTs in international development settings. The purpose of International Development is heavily contested, and thus, the use and interpretations of ICTs in that space is also subject to a wide variety of interpretations. More recently, those in the Art, and Archives Memories and ICTs have been participating with us in an exploration of how the media, dance and other forms of arts interested in ICTs intersect with community development, community memory and archives.


Most often, we want our work to have influence.

Whether in Community Informatics, Development Informatics, Community Archives, or Art, and Archives Memories and ICTs projects involving ICTs, we aim for activity that influences not just future projects or research programs, but also government policy. However, the interests of different audiences (the academy, communities on the ground, NGOs, funders, policy makers) are not necessarily congruent when it comes to being influenced by the impacts, outcomes, value and worth of a project program, or more abstract research. Choices need to be made.

The attempt to shape and influence on the basis of research and practice is sometimes expressed as utilization-focussed evaluation "The focus in utilization-focused evaluation is on supporting intended use by intended users. The essence of this approach is a continual examination of and adaptation to how real people in the real world apply evaluation findings and how they experience the evaluation process" (Michael Quinn Patton). But who are the users here? And what is the real world? Who has control?

  • Just what do "shape and influence mean?" For what purposes? Do we become too constrained by trying to "shape and influence" institutions?
  • What about the general space of public discourse, policy, and influence particularly via new media as an alternate means of shaping and influencing?
  • What are good (and bad) examples of shaping and influencing?
  • What are the opportunities and constraints with attempting to shape and influence policies and programs? Can it stifle free inquiry and discourse when there are findings that surprise or raise controversy?
  • Even if the utilization of research and practice are not the key purpose of project or program activity, what assumptions are made about what counts as important or will have influence in reporting to funders, policy-makers and others, including communities themselves?
  • Can the focus on future utilization result in hindering innovation or experimentation? What forms of research and practice are most useful in meeting this challenge? Are they a help or hindrance?
  • What is the place of community-based research in such an orientation? Who leads? Who follows? Whose voices count?
  • How is research/practice messaged to different audiences for impact?
  • Is seeking to influence in a neoliberal environment turning scholarship and practice into commodities for selection? Are there novel perspectives/approaches/methodologies that help expose underlying assumptions implicit in neoliberal approaches to ICT-related contexts? What are innovative solutions to these persistent challenges?
  • What are the alignments and discontinuities between bottom-up ideals that are often process driven and the demands of funders and policy-makers for "useful" and "accountable research and practice? What has worked or not worked for you? Can the imposition of requirements be used as a form of power and control? What forms of reporting have been or could be most useful to different audiences?
  • We are particularly interest in papers that can report on and theorize these problems in community informatics, development informatics, community archives the arts/archives community.

We welcome papers (referred, work-in-progress, non- refereed), presentations and papers (including Graduate student presentations) related to any aspect of Community Informatics Community Archiving, or Development Informatics, or the Art, and Archives Memories and ICTs space. We are particularly interested in papers from researchers and practitioners that can address the challenges of locating community-focussed research within wider theoretical and practice frameworks.


Natalie Pang, National University of Singapore

Eduardo Villanueva Mansilla, Pontificia Universidad Catolica Del Peru


Tom Denison, Monash University

Vince Dzekian, Monash University

Joanne Evans, Monash University

Anne Gilliland, UCLA

Kiera Ladner, University of Manitoba

Sue McKemmish, Monash University (Chair)

David Nemer, University of Kentucky

Safiya Noble, UCLA

Gillian Oliver, Monash University

Colin Rhinesmith, Simmons College

Mauro Sarrica, Sapienza University, Rome

Martin Wolske, University of Illinois

Larry Stillman, Monash University (conference organisation and administration)

Important dates

Call for papers & proposals/abstracts/ papers can only be submitted through the conference database. Conference space is limited- submit quickly!

Abstracts can now be submitted to the database. Only submit the abstract at this time in the text box. Do not submit the abstract as an attachment.

  • Full papers and abstracts for all streams due: 31 July 2018
  • Referee reports to participants by: 30 September 2018
  • Final version of papers, based on peer review and program committee decisions due: 20 October 2018
  • Conference proceedings: Online/downloadable post- conference with ISBN
  • Registrations: Available from 1 July 2018
  • Conference: 24-26 October 2018


The Conference Proceedings contains referred, non-refereed and PhD colloquium papers and Powerpoints from the conference.

All full papers in the refereed category are subject to blind peer review by at least two reviewers, and reviewers’ comments returned to the authors. Authors are then required to make changes and if necessary, a further review conducted before final approval.

This is a publication (E1) for a conference publication for Australian participants.

Conference papers must be prepared in the Conference Format

What to submit? CRITICAL DATES

You can submit traditional papers (refereed, non-refereed), works in progress, papers, presentations, posters, or installations and short papers for the Research Student stream.

We also have a strong stream for students in Research Students (Masters and Phds) who wish to present their work to a larger audience.

The general paper limit is 7000 words, for students, 2-3000.Submissions can be made when the database is open shortly and another alert will be sent out.

Format for papers: Please use this as a guide.

PRICES (Anticipated. Registrations will open in July)

3 Day conference earlybird student/ developing country: (July- 21-September): $AUD320

3 Day Conference earlybird regular registration: (July-21 September): $AUD 500

3 Day conference full student/ developing country: (22 September – 27 October): $AUD320

3 Day conference full registration (22 September – 27 October): $AUD600

Conference Banquet 26 October (friends, families welcome): $AUD 80

More information about Prato and the Monash Centre

Monash University Prato Centre, Italy.


Note: The program is provisional. All travel arrangements, visas, insurance arrangements are delegates responsibility.