INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL INFORMATICS AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS - ISITI

About ISITI

Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations

Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI), formerly known as the Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics (CoERI) is a research institute in University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) established in 2011. The institute aims to empower marginalized communities by developing and deploying innovative solutions catering to four niche areas: Community Sustainability, ICT for Development (ICT4D), Socio-Technical Innovation and Indigenous Knowledge Management. The institute is actively contributing to fourteen of the17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations with its community based research projects in the rural areas.

Some of our projects include:

eBario: A multi-award winning ‘bridge-the-digital-divide’ project which introduced ICT infrastructures and internet access to Bario - a remote village in the Borneo Island of Malaysia, back in 1999. The project set out to define the extent to which contemporary ICTs could deliver sustainable human development to remote rural communities.

TPOA: The ‘Telecenter Program for Orang Asli’ is a community-university initiative to develop community telecentre in West Malaysia, as a platform to enhance quality of life through mobilizing community, building capacities, identifying programmatic gaps, and impacting social policy.

Creative Culture: The project is an initiative to address educational challenges within the context of inclusive learning for learners from the rural parts of Malaysia Borneo. The project enhances creative thinking and development in education (primary and secondary levels) through game design and computational thinking approach.

COMPETEN-SEA: The project offers MOOC-based educational intervention to empower rural communities mostly excluded from traditional educational outreach.

For a complete list of our projects and details, access our project page.

Vision

To be a lead­ing (an internationally acknowledged) research institute that transforms social communities towards a knowledge-​based society by leveraging on ICT innovation.

Mission

To generate, disseminate, apply and preserve knowledge through an innovative and mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary approach to empower society to sus­tain­ably address their developmental needs in a wider social and economic contexts.

Functions

The Insti­tute of Social Infor­mat­ics and Tech­no­log­i­cal Inno­va­tions (ISITI) began its oper­a­tion in April 2011, and was upgraded from the Cen­tre of Excel­lence for Rural Infor­mat­ics (CoERI); the Cen­tre was estab­lished given the suc­cess of our flag­ship bridging-​the-​digital-​divide pilot project, eBario. A key focus of ISITI is to bridge the technology-people’s gap; in par­tic­u­lar, encom­pass­ing tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tions for indige­nous communities.

Our Strengths

Multi-Disciplinary Research Conducted

ISITI brings together more than 30 researchers from different Faculties and Centres in UNIMAS; from the social sciences, to ICTs and engineering.

Rapport with Indigenous Communities

All our sites' population comprise of indigenous communities such as the Kelabit, Penan, Lun Bawang, Dusun, Bajau, Bidayuh, Semai and Temiar ethnic groups. The rapport provides the opportunity to work with these communities on new projects, which benefits both researchers and the communities involved.

Bridging the Theory-Practice Gap

All our researchers not only conduct research, but also go down to the ground to study, design, implement and evaluate programmes at the community level.