Programme Overview

What is CITIGEN?

The Gender and citizenship in the information society (CITIGEN) programme, coordinated by IT for Change and supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), aims to explore how the concept of citizenship may be useful to study the gendered context of the emerging techno-social paradigm. The opportunities and challenges for women’s equality and empowerment in the emerging context need to be framed in a nuanced way, juxtaposing the analysis of gender relations with the broader questions of development, participation and power. The Programme is thus an attempt to build a theoretical framework and generate policy directions from the standpoint of marginalised women in the region. It will broaden the conceptual horizon about gender and ICTs, towards a politicisation and radicalisation of the ‘access-centred’ discourse so that the core feminist question about power, justice and equity can be addressed in its full implications.

Theoretical framework – a citizenship and information society lens

The programme emerged specifically from the observation that traditional analyses of gender in the information society context relied heavily on access-centred perspectives, failing to understand the network society as a social phenomenon beyond techno-managerial interpretations. Thus, in the wider techno-social context that is having a transformatory impact on gender relations, the opportunities and challenges for women's empowerment will need to be grasped in a nuanced way, juxtaposing the analysis of gender relations with the broader questions of participation and power.
In that regard, the lens of citizenship seems appropriate for two reasons. On one hand, it enables a study of the changing context of the rights, entitlements and agency of marginalised women as a social category in the emerging social relationships architecture effected by new technologies. On the other hand, it provides an entry point to interpret the contemporary through 'social' theories rather than only 'economic' ones that have held sway over the analysis of ICTs and development.

Overall objectives of the programme

  • To understand how the emerging techno-social paradigm shaped by new information and communication technologies recasts the citizenship of women, particularly, marginalised women.

  • To explore how technological affordances interact with the social and institutional environment to shape women's citizenship.

  • To propose ways forward for practice and policy in relation to information and communication domains that place women's citizenship at the centre.

  • To build a network of researchers and scholars engaged in policy research and advocacy on information society and gender issues in the Asia region.

Click here to read the full programme overview.

For further details about the CITIGEN programme, read the concept note.

Current partners of the programme

Grantees: China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand/Taiwan, India, Philippines.
Advisors: Srilatha Batliwala, Andrea Cornwall, Lisa McLaughlin, Parminder Jeet Singh.
Think piece writers: Farida Shaheed, Supinya Klangnarong, Margarita Salas, Heike Jensen, Desiree Lewis.

Eligibility and selection process

Grants have been awarded to individual researchers who are affiliated with a recognised and reputable institution. Each Grantee, designated as the principal researcher, is expected to work with one or more research team members. Selected Grantees received funding for up to 25,000 USD for a one-year proposal involving primary research.

Click here to read the eligibility document

The Programme’s selection panel comprised an independent Advisory Committee and the Programme Coordinator. In the first stage, the Programme secretariat sifted through the pre-proposal application forms to make sure that eligibility requirements were met. The selection panel then reviewed the applications and short-listed approved pre-proposals.

Click here to read the selection process document