This website is for researchers, academics, and others working in the social science or human-computer interaction (HCI) fields who are interested in Digital Participation and how to work with, support, engage and design for Diverse and Marginalised Communities. We welcome input from others interested in this space e.g. librarians, community services and diverse or marginalised community members.

We are creating a series of workshops which aim to provide a forum for researchers and others to discuss, share experiences, and learn from, opportunities and challenges that they have encountered when engaging with diverse and marginalised communities in Australia or internationally. We are also concerned about how best to design for digital participation for those on the digital fringe. 


Latest News:  Special Issue – CALL FOR ABSTRACTS NOW OPEN!

One of the aims of these workshops is to capture major themes and findings in a special edition of a high-quality peer reviewed journal. We have approval to develop a special issue for the Journal of Community Informatics. The special issue is about Designing Participation for the Digital Fringe. The call for abstracts has now been advertised, with a publication date of late 2018.

Special Issue – Aims and Outcomes:
This special issue invites contributions from researchers, academics, and others working with diverse or marginalised individuals or communities e.g. people living with disability, socially isolated older people, people limited, confined or defined by particular places; including those living in rural, remote or regional spaces. We welcome researchers working with novel and new technologies, as well as those using trusted methodologies.

The special issue aims to:

• Provide a forum for discussion of research using digital technologies for public participation.
• Identify common issues researchers have faced, both within HCI and in related social science fields, and explore how these have been addressed.
• Identify the unresolved challenges that researchers continue to grapple with when working with diverse communities and explore options for responding to these challenges.
• Discuss how challenges will grow and change as emerging (and disruptive) technologies continue to be introduced into sensitive settings.
• Discuss the impacts that using digital technologies for public participation will have on specific diverse or marginalised communities.
• Explore how digital participation might be sustained beyond the life of the research project.
• Expand the concept, scope and geographical reach of community informatics towards a non-Western bounded understanding of community.

Submission Process and Selection Criteria :
We invite academic researchers and industry practitioners to submit abstracts of manuscripts articulating the core themes above. Submissions should be formatted in the JoCI Template 2017 format, and emailed to –

 luke.hespanhol@sydney.edu.au and hdavis@swin.edu.au

All abstracts should adhere to the selection criteria below:

1. Abstract should be no longer than 2 pages, including references.
2. Abstract should present case studies on the theme, current research, or different research methodologies (e.g. participatory design, co-design, research through design).
3. Abstract should clearly outline:
(a) what the addressed community is,
(b) what characterises its digital exclusion,
(c) the reasons behind it (e.g. affordability; social exclusion; cultural factors; etc.),                        and
(d) what is being done about it, how is the researcher responding.
4. Abstract should also indicate how the presented research contributes to a better understanding and advancement of design for the digital fringe. We will review submitted abstracts against the selection criteria above, and accept a maximum of 20 contributions. Accepted authors will then be invited to submit a full manuscript for peer review.

Important Dates
• Deadline for abstract submission: 14 January 2018
• Notification of acceptance: 16 February 2018
• Deadline for manuscript submission: 30 April 2018
• Comments from peer-review: 30 June 2018
• Final manuscript submission: 31 August 2018
• Special issue publication: October 2018

OzCHI 2017 workshop:

Digital Outreach: Designing Technologies for Diversity, Participation and Social Inclusion at OzCHI 2017 Human-Nature (The 29th Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction).

This international workshop builds on our successful and engaging full-day workshops held at OzCHI’16 and C&T’17.  OzCHI 2017 was held in Brisbane, Australia 28th Nov-1st Dec. Our workshop was held on Tuesday 28th November. You can read the abstracts on the OzCHI17 workshop abstracts page. Please contact authors directly if you would like to know more about their research., and check out the OzCHI workshop program.




Digital participation is emerging as a key issue for HCI researchers, however digital participation is still most effectively utilised by particular sections of society. People who are socially excluded, marginalised or from diverse backgrounds, such as people living with disability, older people, disadvantaged youth and women, people identifying as LGBTI, Indigenous people and others, are particularly vulnerable to digital non-participation, and under-participation, thereby compounding disadvantage. Further, particular communities such as refugees, or in remote communities, may be disadvantaged due to place, often due to lack of access to resources, digital technology or telecommunications infrastructure.

Researchers may encounter people living on the fringe either as part of research practice, direct community engagement or through other experiences. Our aim is to build a body of knowledge which may act as a resource for researchers, academics, community members and others working in this space. In particular, we aim to provide a forum to identify practical, innovative and sensitive solutions to support sustained digital participation for disadvantaged communities.