Welcome to the Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, located in Sarawak, the East Malaysian state on the island of Borneo.
ISITI started operations in April 2011, and was upgraded from the Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics; 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.
Since the start of eBario in 1999, the eBario telecentre and the community has gone from strength to strength, and is now a showcase for rural projects, not only in ICTs but also other technologies. ISITI and UNIMAS have continued to partner eBario on a number of projects, both international and national projects, and can be considered a living lab, where Bario is a testbed for new innovations in rural communities.
Given the success of eBario, we were given the mandate to research and replicate it to four sites in Sarawak and Sabah; all these sites were chosen given its difficult accessibility and the lack of infrastructure given its location. The four sites are Long Lamai and Ba’Kelalan in Sarawak, and Kpg Buayan and Pulau Larapan in Sabah, where we have established telecentres at each of these sites, and are conducting various programmes with the community. We are now also working with a Community Broadband Centre in Kampung Serasot, and also 4 other sites in the West Malaysian State of Pahang (Pos Lenjang and Pos Sinderut), and Kelantan (Pos Bala and Pos Gob).
Our key strengths include the following:
Multi-disciplinary research conducted: We bring together more than 30 researchers from 8 Faculties and Centres in UNIMAS; from the social science, to ICTs and engineering.
Bridging not only the digital divide but the theory-practice gap: All our researchers not only conduct research, but also go down to the ground to study, design and implement programmes at the community level.
Rapport with indigenous communities: All our 10 sites’ population comprise indigenous communities, such Kelabit, Penans, Lun Bawang, Dusun, Bajaus, Bidayuh, Semai and Temiar ethnic groups. The rapport with the communities, provides us the opportunity to work with these communities on new projects.
Given ISITI’s 100+ man-years of experience and knowledge in both theory and practice in ICT for Development, we are able to offer advisory, consultancy and training services on policy formulation, strategic planning and rural informatics programmes. For more information about our consultancy services, visit Consultancy & Services Page.
Smart Partnerships and Collaboration
Our success is not only due to the hard work and committed members of ISITI, but also the collaboration with our partners, Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department, Min. of Science, Technology and Innovation, MAXIS, Telekom Malaysia, and also the Federal and State Government, as well as other international collaborators.
We trust you will find the information you are looking for in this website. Should you be interested in collaborating with us on mutually beneficial projects, please send me an email.
Professor Dr Narayanan