ICT, Agricultural Development and Environmental Justice
Abstract: Within the overarching context of accelerating ecological crises and technological change, information and communication technologies (ICT) have the potential to transform decision-making in environmental management. While there are opportunities for strengthening participatory processes in data collection and information access, the dangers of emerging ICT-centered environmental monitoring are profound. One risk is the ossification of already deep divides in access to and control over natural resources. Here we focus on data sovereignty and decision-making criteria that are embedded within nontransparent systems, specifically considering the use of ICTs in data collection for environmental sustainability. We explore these issues in two agricultural settings: Vermont and Ethiopia. First, we articulate the social-ecological challenges that ICT is employed to solve. Second, we identify and discuss the points in the data lifecycle that are problematic. Third, we connect these points to broader questions of information systems within the context of global sustainable development. Finally, we explore the application of an environmental justice lens to ask: how can we do the least damage and support concerns about data sovereignty?
This poster was presented at ICT4S 2018.