Contact person:Åke Grönlund,
Professor of Informatics (also affiliated to Dept of Informatics, Umeå University), phone: +46 (0)70 585 17 90
The department runs a 120 ECTS credits Masters Programme in Electronic Government, focusing on eGovernment and the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in public administrations combined with organisational change and new skills in order to improve public services and democratic processes. More information.
Research connected to South Asia:
Prof. Åke Grönlund is involved in research on Electronic Government and E-democracy. He is founding faculty and member of the Steering Committee of the multidisciplinary DemocrIT research programme on ICT in democratic processes. This is a multidisciplinary research programme carried out in cooperation between the Media and Communications Studies (MKV) at Örebro University and a number of other subjects, also involving several PhD students.
SPIDER, the Swedish Program for Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) in Developing Regions, has provided funding for two Bangladesh related projects led by Prof. Grönlund:
• A continuation of this project, titled ”Bangladesh Virtual Classroom sustained” was given SEK 1 million for the period 2007–2009.
It now targeted a large-scale implementation of an interactive TV and SMS "classroom" setting for ICT-enabled distance tuition at Bangladesh Open University. The project deliverables also includes development of pedagogical methods, methods for economic production of interactive courses and methods for technically and economically feasible delivery of such courses throughout Bangladesh.
The collaborating partner on the Bangladeshi side has been Dr. Yousuf M Islam, Director for Research and Advisory Services at BRAC University in Dhaka.
For the same period, 2007–2009, SPIDER gave funding also to another project led by Prof. Åke Grönlund:
• ”Agricultural market information for farmers (AMIS)”. It also focused on Bangladesh, and was given SEK 1 million as a grant from SPIDER. More information about the project. Abstract: The project will develop an agricultural market information system to improve local agricultural markets and empower small farmers in rural Bangladesh using low-cost existing SMS infrastructure to create a viable local organization for information collection and dissemination. Focus is on the collection and distribution of market information to beneficiaries rather than on the in-formation system as such, using appropriate technology given the local context.
PhD candidate Sirajul Islam
is currently (2011) in the final stage of his PhD program at the Swedish Business School of Örebro University, Sweden, working with a study within the AMIS project. The thesis project is entitled ”AMISfor the farmers in Bangladesh” and has been funded by SPIDER. It focuses on a rural development perspective which is aimed at deploying a mobile-phone based system for the farmers in Bangladesh in cooperation of the Department of Marketing of the Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh.
Serving in the area of ICT4D especially for the underserved communities of developing regions is not only his professional interest, but also a passionate concern as he has about ten years of theoretical and practical experiences in such an emerging domain.
In addition to his on-going academic research, he also works as a part-time research assistant at the Informatics department by managing the entire AMIS project. More information.
In conjunction, Mr. Islam also serves as a Research Associate with the lead personnel of a project called ”Unos-Uno” which is concerned about analysing the effects and results from various perspectives of the implementation of ”one-computer-per-student” in some municipalities and schools in Sweden.
To date, Sirajul Islam has more than 15 research publications and many of these have been published in some high ranking journals relating to ICT4D, e-government, information systems and e-practices. Go for his publications list.
He was one of the fellowship recipients jointly offered by Singapore Internet Research Center (SiRCA) of Nanyang Technology University, Singapore and International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. This award programme seeks to identify future research leaders and to facilitate their development through the support of research. The award is intended to ensure capacities to conduct research in the area of Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D or ICTD) which is built in Asia.