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Working with community partners on research projects where the community members are part of the research team presents its own challenges. The challenges include the possible mismatch of expectations between academic team members and community members, as well as in defining the different roles people play, and managing the process. This paper reports the experiences and insights gained from working with community members involved in two research projects. The two projects were the Digital Divas project, involving the creation of a girls’ only information technology (IT) elective which has been implemented in a number of schools, and the Doing IT Better project that involved building IT capacity in the Victorian community service sector. Two community members from each of the projects are collaborators in this paper and provide the community perspective on this kind of research. Issues around concordances and discordances of academic research processes with a community's own ways of knowing, creating, managing and disseminating knowledge and information are discussed. The roles of community expertise, along with expectations regarding relationships and interactions are also explored.
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Keywords: ICTs; community informatics; organizational studies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Swinburne University of Technology, FICT, John StreetHawthorn,3122, Australia 2: Monash University, F.I.T., Caulfield, Australia 3: [email protected], Email: [email protected], URL: _contents"> Australian Computer Society, Victoria, Australia< xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">[email protected], Email: [email protected], URL: 4: [email protected], Email: [email protected], URL: _contents"> Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Melbourne, Australia< xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">[email protected], Email: [email protected], URL: 5: [email protected], Email: [email protected], URL: _contents"> Dandenong Community Advisory Bureau, Dandenong, Australia< xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">[email protected], Email: [email protected], URL: 6: [email protected], Email: [email protected], URL:"> Latitude: Directions for Young People, Altona,Victoria, Australia< xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">[email protected], Email: [email protected], URL:

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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