Fieldwork in Chile begins for public access ICT in disaster research

TASCHA researchers, Maria Garrido and Beth Patin, visited Chile in February to participate in fieldwork for their study investigating the role of telecentres and public libraries in disaster management.

The visit included focus groups with public access venue users and staff, interviews with government officials, and visits to telecentres and public libraries affected by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami. Maria, Beth, and their partners from ATACH made many interesting preliminary observations about how these public access venues adapted and responded to local community needs following the disaster.

Temporary library in Molina; photo courtesy of Biblioredes

For example, indications are that, faced with unanticipated circumstances, they took several self-initiated actions to limit interruptions to their service. These efforts, which were neither mandated nor funded by their respective organizations and government agencies, included telecentres and public libraries building temporary locations and implementing mobile telecentres.

Mobile telecentre; photo courtesy of CDI Chile

The full description of the trip can be found on the TASCHA website here.

Updates and more information on this research project can be found here.