Exploring Digital Communication Needs of Local Communities and Self-organized Collectives

Katerina El-Raheb, Vasilis Vlachokyriakos, Maria Roussou, Patrick Olivier, Tom Bartindale, Andrew Garbett

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Recent work in HCI has explored the use of ICTs for the mobilisation and organisation of values-led communities and social movements. This paper extends this line of work by exploring the design of a communication system for informal, place-based citizen collectives-also referred to as Social Solidarity Movements. The distinctive characteristics of such collectives, namely their decentralised, bottom-up and self-organised organisation, and their lack of monetary resources, pose interesting challenges for communication technology design. The work reported in this paper sought to explore how the values and practices of such collectives can be embodied in mobile communication tools. A system was designed to mirror on-the-ground informal organisational structures, its primary goal being to serve as a probe for research and discussion. Our findings highlight the diversity of channels and organisational structures prevailing in these contexts, their participatory nature, and issues of temporality, anonymity, privacy, and trust, all of which must be considered when designing technologies to support cooperative work. We contribute methodological insights and design implications for mobile technologies underpinning the work of social collectives and their practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number208
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberMHCI
Early online date11 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2023
Externally publishedYes

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