About the Author

Kui Kihoro Mackay is a is a PhD student at the ICT4D Research Centre, Royal Holloway, University of London.  Kui holds an MSc in Practicing Sustainable Development with a specialisation in ICT4D.  Her PhD research is identity construction and representation within the Kenyan Twittersphere.  Her research interests include intersectionality, race,  diasporian identities, black feminist theory and identity construction and performance on social media.

About the Race and ICT4D Blog

This blog is essentially an extension of my research interests.  I started during the final phase of my MSc and now that I am working towards a PhD it is the place where I come to think out a loud.

When I first started out on the MSc I was interested in  race and ICT4D. At the moment there is not much out there in terms of research and discussion on the role that race, racial identities and racial discrimination plays in ICT4D and what is out there can be quite hard to find.  I decided to start this blog in order to keep track of race and ICT4D research, projects and debates.  I hope that through this I will be able to establish a basis for my own research.  Along the way I hope to interact with people with similar research interests.

For the moment, you will probably find very little of my own thoughts here.  I have a personal blog for that, which though dormant I do intend to revive.  Right now I just want to simply collect and link to what others saying and not cloud it with my input, which still requires refining.

Update: 12 November 2013:  A slightly more focused blog and a shift towards Internet Studies and Race…

So when I started this blog I knew that I was interested in race, technology and development and from an academic standpoint I was interested in Critical Race Theory as a methodology/research framework.

That was about it; and at that time, that was probably enough.  I was nearing the end of the first year of my MSc and I knew I had some time to think through what I wanted to research for my dissertation.

But the time has come for me to beyond mere ideas and simply collecting resources to actively engaging with the information I have found in order to formulate a research question.

When I first started this blog I just wanted to use it as a repository I think I actually wrote in the ‘about’ section of this blog that I would not offer my opinion  so as not to cloud the information with my half-baked ideas.

I think as I am now in the process of writing my dissertation proposal and also considering applying for a PhD I have to move beyond this stance.  I need to start using this blog to write down my own thoughts/reactions to what I read.

I also think I need to narrow my interests down a bit –  I mean race, technology and development sounds great but if I am to produce a 12,000 – 15,000 word dissertation I need to get a bit more specific.

Thus far I have broken down my research into a specific sub section of ICT4D – Internet Studies; which is still a broad field so I have decided to limit it to Twitter.   As I am interested in race I will focus specifically on “Black Twitter” and hope to apply a Critical Race Methodology approach to my work.

So there it is:  My Race and ICT4D blog will start to morph into my Black Twitter and Critical Race  Theory research – at least until I get the dissertation proposal out of the way.  Who knows what will happen when I start my PhD proposal writing….

What is ICT4D?

The use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) as a medium to bring about positive social, economic and political change is commonly referred to as ICT for Development (ICT4D).  The main aim for those involved in this sector is to bridge the gap between those who have and those who don’t have access to technology (often referred to as the digital divide) and to facilitate social and economic development through enabling better and equal access to ICTs.


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