The Strengthening Information Society Research Capacity Alliance (SIRCA) program establishes and brings together the endeavors of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada) and the Singapore Internet Research Centre (SiRC, Singapore) to identify future research leaders, particularly emerging researchers who are relatively new to information and communications technology for development (ICT4D or ICTD) / Information Society research and to facilitate their development through the support of research grants.
SIRCA started out as the Strengthening ICTD Research Capacity in Asia program during its first phase (SIRCA I), focusing on building the social science research skills of emerging Asian scholars in the ICTD space. After its success with the 15 junior researchers in Asia, the program renamed as the Strengthening Information Society Research Capacity Alliance (SIRCA II), expanded to Africa and Latin America in order to improve the research capacity of the ICTD scholars in Global South.
The SIRCA programme mentored 30 emerging researchers from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. The outputs of this programme include special issues of Media Asia and the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, and edited volumes published by ISEAS and Springer.
The SIRCA programme is now in its third iteration (SIRCA III) and has significantly evolved. The current programme is a research grant award focused on cross-cutting theoretical frameworks in the area of Open Development. SIRCA III will fund two-year research projects led by teams of two senior researchers and/or practitioners investigating open development topics in developing countries in Asia and Africa.