The B-Change Group (BCG) supports a collaborative team of interdisciplinary researchers with global expertise. We conduct research and share knowledge to help promote inclusive development that incorporates technology-based approaches.
Throughout the world, particularly in low resource settings, we have seen an increase in access to and uptake of new information communication technologies (ICT), particularly by those who are socially and/or politically marginalised. For those living with and exploring diverse sexualities and gender identities, the focus of BCG’s work, these technologies present new opportunities and challenges as they enter into their everyday lives. More recently development projects are incorporating ICT into their practices to support human development outcomes. Currently however, there remains a dearth of research that examines the impact of these projects, and the spaces used by this target population, in low resource settings. In particular, this warrants a greater examination of the implications of these technologies on those who are marginalised.
An increased research focus is thus required to examine the inclusion of people with diverse sexualities, gender identities and expression (SOGIE/LGBTI), as well as people living with HIV (PLHIV) among these communities, and the implications technology has for their sense of agency, health, and well being. We believe that applying a SOGIE/LGBT lens on development practices provides a crucial perspective to understanding levels of inclusiveness. Lessons that we learn from this perspective and the use of innovative methodologies can be assessed for adaptation and application in other sectors.
Increased collection of this data, and its ethical distribution, is crucial to enhancing inclusive development. This research is essential for further understanding how inclusion takes place within an increasingly fraught context of risk for LGBTI and PLHIV, and importantly, within the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which will be implemented from 2016 onwards. Our team uses the following algorithm for inclusive development that helps articulate the logical framework that binds our work:
(SDG x SOGIE) + (Technology x Partnerships x Resources) = Inclusive Development
B-Change's Thematic Areas of Interest
Our work, as indicated above, is guided by a broad focus on technology use by socially and politically marginalised groups in low resource settings.To this end we have four thematic areas of concern that are the focus of our work:
In the following table, these research themes are divided into the specific scope and aims of each area, which sets out the focus of BCG’s work moving forward:
As a group of interdisciplinary researchers we bring diverse ways to think about these concerns, with expertise in internet research, public health, international development, human rights, sociology and social science research. Our core team is supported by an international team of researchers and practitioners, who have expertise in the fields of public health, psychology and cultural studies, as well as experience in policy implementation and service delivery in the global south. BCG’s Board brings an array of relevant skills that inform the unit’s strategic vision and operations.
Hanckel, B., Garcia, L., Santos, G. & Manalastas, E. J. (2014). Assessing needs and capabilities: Towards an ICT resource to support HIV-positive gay men and other MSM in Southeast Asia. Digital Culture & Education, 6(3).
Garcia, L., & Koerner, J. (2014). Community-based responses to HIV in developed Asia: Challenges and approaches for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. HIV Australia, 12(2):51-55