The Strengthening Information Society Research Capacity Alliance (SIRCA II) program was an ICTD and information society research capacity building project aimed at young and emerging researchers in the Global South (i.e. Africa, Asia, and Latin America).
The reason for engaging in such a program is because of the immense need and relevance in these regions for such a scheme, with sustained, mentorship-based capacity building efforts aimed at select groups of scholars. The program intends to address the lack of scholars in this field and achieve a balance in the primarily Western-centric research emerging from the region.
The project awarded 15 research grants through a competitive selection process and provided the selected grantees with sustained training and mentorship throughout their research experience. The 15 Principal Investigators (PIs) were advised one-on-one by senior research experts (“Collaborators“) around the globe.
The program was managed by the Singapore Internet Research Centre, based at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa, and the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (Institute of Peruvian Studies – IEP), Peru. The SIRCA II Program was supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada.
The Strengthening ICTD Research Capacity in Asia (SIRCA I) awards were intended to ensure capacities to conduct research in the area of Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D or ICTD) are built in Asia. This applies particularly to emerging researchers based in Asia who are relatively new to ICTD research and interested in undertaking theoretically-based and methodologically rigorous research. Additionally, these applicants benefited from concerted capacity building exercises including a mentorship arrangement. In particular, the program promoted broad-based high-quality multidisciplinary research in ICT development, e-services, new media use and social impact, and policy for the benefit and advancement of individuals, organizations, nation and society.