Associate Professor Jo Ann Tacchi

Image not availableCreative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology

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Funded Research Projects

LP0775252, 2006: Assessing the impact of new communication technologies in developing countries and disadvantaged communities, with Dr AJ Skuse.

LP0561848: Finding a Voice: Making Technological Change Socially Effective and Culturally Empowering with Prof S Cunningham, A/Prof HK Pillay, and Dr AJ Skuse

New information and communication technologies (ICTs) are heralded as remarkable tools for the development of marginalised communities. Research has shown that ICTs can contribute to development, but need to be introduced in ways that recognise local social networks and cultural contexts. This project takes a participatory approach to research, aiming to empower people through finding their own voice. We will establish a research network of local ICT initiatives across Asia and the Pacific region. Using ethnographic action research the network will be populated by local researchers in each of these initiatives, trained and supported by Australian researchers. This will increase understanding of how ICTs can be both effective and empowering.

Current Research Projects

Mapping the Missing Grassroots: Ethnographic Action Study of Local Grassroots Broadband Content (Co)Creation and Consumption.
ARC Linkage with Ipswich City Council.

This research project will facilitate and research local grassroots content (co)creation and consumption through an ongoing digital expo (exhibition) event. The online event/venue establishes a content ‘laboratory’, an observable network of content creators/consumers, enabling research into diverse amateur creative practices and networks of content creation, collaboration, exchange, and consumption. Through competitions and forums, the expo will generate data on social practices and networks organized around categories of locally produced digital content

Assessing Communication for Social Change: A New Agenda in Impact Assessment for Communication for Development Initiatives.
ARC Linkage with Equal Access.

Communication for development initiatives aim to stimulate positive social change, e.g. by encouraging beneficial health-related behaviour. Social change is typically assessed qualitatively because social or behavioural changes are difficult to accurately quantify. However, the current trend is increasingly towards the setting of quantifiable targets and many initiatives in mass media, new ICTs and social communication are seeking new ways to assess impact. This project integrates work on participatory monitoring and evaluation with ethnography and action research to develop new ‘hybrid’ impact evaluation methods that allow longer-term ethnographic approaches to qualify and triangulate community-generated indicators and data.