Director's Message

Profesor Dr Narayanan

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.

Repli­ca­tion Nation-​wide

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