Academic-Community Partnerships for Advanced Information Processing in Low Technology Support Settings

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What knowledge is required to enable individuals in community agencies to harness advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) to promote their communities’ development? Around the world organizations of all types use ICTs to significantly enhance and transform the quality and efficiency of work. Knowledge workers in community agencies, like knowledge workers in general, want to employ the full power of ICTs, both to provide services electronically and to improve their own access to information. There is an increased need to be able to “gather and interpret data efficiently and effectively into functional information for professional acting social work settings” (Grebel & Steyaert, 1995, p. 163). There are a variety of roles in community agencies, including administrators, program developers, counselors, and teachers. All individuals filling these roles would be categorized as knowledge workers because their tasks require non-routine and complex work, they must apply their knowledge capital to these tasks, their work requires significant cognitive information processing, and their written and verbal outputs have information content (Davis et al., 1993). Their needs for more information include content information to help community agency employees provide service to clients more effectively, information on community and other resources that can provide additional help for clients, as well as information that helps employees assess their service programs and the management of their agencies. These needs stem from both the desire to provide better service to clients and increased pressure from funding sources, public and private, for more accountability.

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Academic-Community Partnerships for Advanced Information Processing in Low Technology Support Settings, in R. W. Collins (Ed.), Community Informatics: Enabling Communities with Information and Communications Technologies, IGI Global, p. 404-413