The College of Social Sciences (CSS) at UH Mānoa has established the Pacific Information and Communication Technology for Development Collaborative (PICTDC). PICTDC is an innovative interdisciplinary initiative focusing on the social and economic implications of information and communications technology in the Pacific region.
The collaborative emphasizes the potential uses of technology for social good, promotion of digital inclusiveness, sustainable improvement in quality of life, and empowerment of public discourse on good governance.
“The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is known for its pioneering research and expertise in Asia-Pacific studies,” said CSS Dean Denise Eby Konan. “A member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), the leading consortium of research universities for the region, UH Mānoa serves as a window linking East and West.
“An extension of the rich heritage of decades of research by great scholars at the university and the East-West Center (EWC), PICTDC leverages these resources and opportunities to drive development in the Pacific region through research and programs on communication, information and economic development,” Konan continued. “PICTDC will serve as a core node in a network of regional ICTD scholars, facilitating information exchange, organizing events, and fostering collaboration among cooperating researchers.”
PICTDC is advised by an experienced international advisory board, whose members include internationally renowned telecommunications and information policy expert Richard Taylor, a Distinguished Professor in Residence in the School of Communications.
PICTDC is guided by two faculty from CSS: Jenifer Sunrise Winter and Christina Higa. They are joined by an interdisciplinary group of UH Mānoa faculty affiliates and invited non-resident expert research associates.
Winter is an associate professor and graduate chair in the School of Communications. Her research addresses digital inequalities, algorithmic discrimination, and privacy in the context of big data and the Internet of Things. She is currently investigating data governance related to big data marketplaces as public commons. Related research addresses broadband access rights, community informatics, broadband development’s role in improving the quality of life and enabling self-determination in indigenous communities, and the Internet as a support for good governance. She has recently co-edited The Future Internet: Alternative Visions and has authored dozens of journal articles, book chapters and conference papers addressing emerging policy issues related to the Internet.
Higa is the associate director of the Telecommunications and Social Informatics Research Program (UH TASI) and co-director of the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center (PBTRC) of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI). She was formerly the director of the PEACESAT Program that provided satellite communications for distance learning, telehealth and emergency management services in the Pacific Islands region. Her interests include information communication technology for development and specifically the application of health information technologies to assist in the reduction of health disparities in remote and rural areas in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.
More information about PICTDC may be found at http://pictdc.socialsciences.hawaii.edu/