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Title:Local-Global: Reconciling Mismatched Ontologies in Development Information Systems
Author(s):Wallack, Jessica Seddon; Srinivasan, Ramesh
Subject(s):information loss
community informatics
Abstract:This paper extends pre-existing digital divide conceptualizations to further investigate the important issue of mismatches between the ontologies of state-created information systems and local communities’ representation of their contexts. Comparability of data across time and place, as well as compatibility of data with state administrative needs come at a cost of information loss about the setting and individuals that policymakers are trying to impact. We argue that the reconciliation of community and state logics and framings is critical for effective engagement with communities as well as formulation and implementation of development policies. We suggest several paths toward overcoming mismatched ontologies: education and communications strategies to enable communities and states to translate across ontologies and fill in significant gaps; re-assignment of policy responsibilities to minimize information loss; and several mechanisms that would enable communities to be directly and productively engaged in developing shared ontologies.
Issue Date:2009-02-08
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-03-17

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