Complex information systems, homophily and the importance of assessments (by Kate Cummings)

The working session, “Creating Complex Information Systems” was a standout because it reminded me of the multi-dimensional nature of information sharing in and among communities in conflict and/or challenging circumstances. These communication channels may at times appear linear, moving information from one point or person to another as if moving through links in a chain, but in fact these channels are shaped, branched and forked by social trust, modes of storytelling, the quality of the telecommunications infrastructure, freedom of information and how to access what is available. There is a whole network of factors affecting how information is made, shared, receive; information systems are complex from the beginning, and ICT projects aiming to improve communities’ relationships to information have to remember that is starts with complexity and solutions have to agile enough to adapt to an interconnected web of social relationships.

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