Abstract - The Information Society 24(1)

Mediating Voices: Community Participation in the Design of E-Enabled Community Care Services

Bridgette Wessels, Sarah Walsh, and Elaine Adam

In the UK, information and communication technologies are being used to e-enable multi-agency community services for children. Public policy advocates that practitioners as well as users should be involved in the shaping of services including the information systems used in their delivery. This paper discusses how a group of social and computer scientists developed the social formation methodology to facilitate non-expert community participation in the design of e-enabled community care services. The longitudinal study adapts qualitative methods to understand community welfare and to foster participation in the design of communication systems. By exploring the perspectives of welfare practitioners and families, the importance of situated and mediated conversations in community care is identified. The facilitative conversation approach of the study then brings these community perspectives, as well as ICT perspectives, into design processes of e-enabled services.


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