department of informatics

LoCuS: Local Communities and Online Tools in Syria

This interdisciplinary PhD project focuses on observing the communal use of online tools in Syria, and specifically on learning how different tools are appropriated by community members to support community activities and growth. This study shall informs the design of new tools, which we aim to develop through close collaboration with the target community. Ultimately, these tools are targeted to support community building through supporting participation, capacity building, and collaboration.

A bit of background

With the increasing spread and availability of computation and the internet, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) holds promising potential for enhancing the realities of underprivileged communities.
Our position is that development is served by contributing to the empowerment of local communities. Local community members experience local problems from a first-hand perspective, and they have direct cultural and working knowledge regarding the specific context of their situation. Therefore, we view that collaborating with local communities to collaborate and take action, aided by innovative ICT tools, is a promising approach towards development.


We are currently involved in observation of the use of online tools by local communities in Syria. As we participate with everyday online activities, we collect information about how community members use online tools as they join, participate, and collaborate. From these use cases we frame a better understanding of the use and implications of current online tools and where we could contribute. In the near future we seek to engage with local community members to design and develop new tools to further support community building and collaborative member activities.

Research Team