Janaki Srinivasan

Alumni (PhD 2011)


Information and Communication Technologies for 'Development'


Research interests:
The use of Information and computer technologies for 'development.' I am interested particularly in how rural computer centers work in India.

How I cross disciplines:
My background is in the sciences (physics) and technology. Somewhere along the way, I realised that the deployment of technology in a community and the ways in which the community eventually uses the technology interested me as much as the working of the technology itself. Understanding the technology helps me gauge its potential; understanding the political and social fabric of the community helps me understand how this technology is then used in a particular commmunity.

Information challenge I'd most like to address:
I see a lot of potential in the use of technology in development projects. However, I also realize that the hype surrounding the use of technology for development and the conception of technology as a neutral player often masks the political and social realities of the communities that such projects target. I hope to use ethnographic accounts of IT based development projects to understand how the political and social context of a community shape its effects for different groups within a community.

Why I chose the I School:
The diversity of student interests and backgrounds was attractive. Existing linkages between the ISchool and a range of Berkeley departments; and the potential for initiating more such linkages also excited me.

What’s different or special about the I School:
South Hall — it's a great building to be housed in!

Something few people know about me:
I love old buildings, ghost towns and ruins. I could spend days wandering among old buildings trying to understand (or imagine) how and why they were built, who inhabited them and why they were abandoned or fell.

Last updated:

September 20, 2017