Nemer Receives 2016 Social Informatics Best Paper Runner-Up at ASIS&T, Gives TEDx Talk about ICT4D

Drs. Howard Rosenbaum, David Nemer, and Pnina Fichman

Dr. David Nemer, Assistant Professor of Information Communication Technology (ICT) was awarded 2016 Social Informatics Best Paper runner-up by the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) at the 12th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium (SIG-SI): "The Social Informatics of Work and Play" in Copenhagen, Denmark.

His paper "Online Favela: The Use of Social Media by the Marginalized in Brazil" is published in the journal of Information Technology for Development. The focus of his research in community informatics and ICT for Development (ICT4D) is to inform policymakers to that they can implement digital inclusion policies in their cities. Nemer expounds on his paper and ICT4D research in a December Tedx talk, Slums and Social Empathy: Creating Smart Cities of the Future hosted in Espirito Santo, Brazil. Click here for the recorded version of his talk. 



You have focused much of your research in the area of ICT for Development (ICT4D). How would you explain ICT4D to someone outside the field and why is it so important, particularly for governments? 

Nemer: I see ICT4D as a field concerned with promoting empowerment and development of marginalized communities. ICT4D researchers design or analyze ICTs as tools that could support such process of development and empowerment. Research in ICT4D carries a moral argument with it, since it is aimed at promoting social good. In a world geared towards adopting ICTs as the silver bullet to its social problems, governments should pay attention to ICT4D research, since we have the tools and expertise to critically engage with technology and social programs in order to promote an equal society. 

ICTs are having a major impact on policy development in Brazil and in places around the world. Do you plan on or have you taken your research to other countries as well? 

Nemer: I've been working on projects with the United Nations University in Macau, China and I'm currently researching the adoption of Internet by Cubans. Next year, I hope to start a new project which aims at bringing broadband Internet to Eastern Kentucky. 

You recently received a national level award from the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology -- how does it feel to be honored for the impact your research and field work has made to the country of Brazil?

Nemer: It is a great honor. It is often very hard to go beyond the boundaries of academia and make a difference in the world outside of it. ICT4D is a field concerned with addressing issues in developing communities, and these issues require active solutions that will make a difference in those areas, and not so much in academia. Thus, being able to make a difference fulfills me not only as a researcher but also as a human being. 

UK SIS congratulates Dr. Nemer on his recent awards and recognition. For more information on Dr. Nemer's research interests and courses taught, please visit his profile in our faculty directory.