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Hasib Ahsan’s PhD Defense

February 15, 2023 @ 13:00 - 17:30

The Role of Human Infrastructure: Investigating Digital Interventions in the Global South

Based on fieldwork in five distinct projects, this thesis investigates the role of human infrastructure in the context of digital interventions in the Global South. The settings are an agriculture voice message service for smallholder farmers in Bangladesh, a climate and agricultural information service associated with weather forecast using phone text messages (SMS) also for farmers in Bangladesh, a for-profit service for farmers in Cambodia using digital applications, a digital mental health intervention for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and a study of the reordering of everyday life through digital technologies in Bangladesh during the Covid- 19 pandemic. The focus on human infrastructure is inspired by research within Information & Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Science Technology Studies (STS) and more.

The findings contribute to research and practice by nuancing the understanding of the role of human infrastructure in digital interventions in the Global South. That is, Hasib empirically and conceptually extends the discussion by pointing out how human infrastructure may be ‘configured,’ ‘trained’ and ‘unravelled’ in the context of digital interventions in the Global South. The thesis shows how one cannot take the human infrastructure for granted in the sense that it has to be both configured and trained and hence is not simply somehow there. Further, the thesis discusses how a human infrastructure may unravel in the context of digital interventions in the Global South and the consequences this may have for continued service provision. These contributions may be useful for both researchers and practitioners as it adds to our understanding of the key role of human infrastructure in digital interventions in the Global South and elsewhere.

Note: After the defense there will be a reception on the first floor of the atrium by the main entrance.


February 15, 2023
13:00 - 17:30


IT University of Copenhagen – Auditorium: 1
Rued Langgaards Vej 7
København S, 2300 Denmark
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We have four regular events

  1. The TiP Salon runs weekly during the semester. We convene around constructive engagement with new publications, visitors to the group and work in progress. The meeting is open, and runs at 12:00-13:00 on Wednesdays. Please contact Zea Yde to sign up to the email list.
  2. Shut up and Write takes place every week on  Wednesdays from 13:15 to 17:00. Based on the model promoted by Inger Mewburn, we commit to writing projects on the whiteboard and write in shorter sessions with breaks.
  3. The TiP Invited Speaker Series has been running since 2018, and each year 3-4 invited speakers present their work in a public forum. All welcome.
  4. The TiP Writing Workshop takes place twice a semester, where contributions from all members of TiP are welcome. The purpose of the workshop is to give and receive feedback on ‘in progress’ work. Practically the workshop entails reading all participants’ submission, being a ‘caring opponent’ on one particular text, and participating in constructive debate about the texts.

Sporadic events

When PhD students are at the right stage of their studies, they resurrect the longstanding institution of the STS Reading Group. Previous seasons of the Reading Group can be found here