The SIRCA program, currently in its third iteration, brings together the endeavors of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada) and the Singapore Internet Research Centre (SiRC, Singapore) to develop cross-cutting theoretical frameworks and a research
agenda in thematic areas of open development. Predicated on the increasing spread of information and
communication technology (ICT) solutions, new digitally-enabled forms of openness are increasingly being
promoted and implemented in developing country contexts. However, evidence is still scant as to whether or not,
how, and under what circumstances openness actually contributes to solving development problems. Rigorous
research is essential to inform and assess current and future open activities that have positive impact on
development and well-being.
SIRCA III is the first global and comprehensive exploration of open development and aims to develop cross-cutting theoretical frameworks around digitally enabled openness, inclusion, and rights,
generating a seminal output for open development. SIRCA III will fund research projects led by teams of two senior researchers and/or practitioners
investigating open development topics in developing countries in Asia, Africa, or Latin America. The SIRCA III programme comprises two phases: a theoretical phase and an empirical phase. During the theoretical phase, senior research teams will be awarded funding to develop a cross-cutting theoretical framework. This framework will then be tested during the empirical phase of the programme. Additional researchers will be selected through a second call for proposals in the second phase to conduct the empirical research in close collaboration with the senior research teams. SIRCA III will also work closely with the senior research teams throughout the programme to synthesize results across teams as well as to influence policy and public opinion.
SIRCA started out as the Strengthening ICTD Research Capacity in Asia program during its first phase (SIRCA I), focusing on building the social science research skills of emerging Asian scholars in the ICTD space. After its success with the 15 junior researchers in Asia, the program was renamed as the Strengthening Information Society Research Capacity Alliance (SIRCA II), and was expanded to Africa and Latin America in order to improve the research capacity of the ICTD scholars in Global South. Although the focus of the programme has shifted in SIRCA III to open development, SIRCA maintains a commitment to strengthening ICTD research capacity in developing countries and will select scholars from developing countries in the second phase of the programme. These scholars will receive mentoring and support from the senior research teams to build their intellectual leadership and critical research skills.
SIRCA III Ongoing Projects
The Strengthening Information Society Research Capacity Alliance (SIRCA)
III programme hosted by SiRC has made important milestones on research about
projects have been selected to interrogate open development theory, an approach
that is relatively rare in ICT4D. Projects are taking place in developing
countries, where teams have finalized methodologies and begun fieldwork:
How do farmers’ digital literacy levels influence their ability to
benefit from open data?
By Chiranthi Rajapakse and Piyumi Gamage,
Can citizen science enhance trust in city governance and advance urban
By Satyarupa Shekhar Swain and David Sadoway,
Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group
Using the critical capability approach to empirically analyze the design
and implementation of the open government initiative on education sector in
By Goodiel C. Moshi and Deo Shao, University of
Digitisation as 'openness'? Mapping electronic governance and shifting
politics of land in West Bengal, India
By Sumandro Chattapadhyay and Himadri
Chatterjee, The Centre for Internet and Society
Understanding the structures and mechanisms that foster stewardship in
By Jean-Paul Van Belle and Paul Mungai,
University of Cape Town
A case study of situated learning practices enabled by an Open
Information System for enhancing adaptive capacity to climate change in West
By Purnabha Dasgupta, Development Research
Communication and Services Centre (DRCSC) and Linus Kendall, Sheffield Hallam
For more about the SIRCA programme, click here.