About Me

I'm a Fellow in the Digital & Technology team at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the UK. I was previously a Research Fellow in the Gender Technology Lab at the United Nations University, Institute of Computing & Society (UNU-CS) in Macau. Prior to that I completed a PhD at the ICT4D Centre  of Royal Holloway, University of London participatory video with a women's group in Zambia to examine whether we can use technology to enhance people's critical agency for development. Before returning to academia in I founded and led two international not-for-profit organisations. I was Executive Director of CODA International for ten years before becoming CEO of Computer Aid International for twelve years. I also worked as an associate lecturer in New Technology & Education for four years in the Innovations Studies Unit of the University of East London. I was a founding Director & Trustee of BOND and The Restart Project  and co-founded Web Gathering, an online conferencing organisation. I am on the international Board of Computers for Schools KenyaAsikana Network, BongoHive and NewZambian.

I am passionate about understanding why some people feel powerless and alienated and others feel able to transform their personal life and to transform social circumstances and change their world. I want to know where this sense of 'agency' comes from and whether it is something that we can actively develop in ourselves and others. The 'development' that I am interested in is the development from a state of feeling alienated, unable and constrained to a state of feeling engaged, free and able to effect change for the good. I am also interested in whether technology, and ICTs in particular, can play a role in increasing agency for personal and social development.

Because my name, Tony Roberts, is as common as muck I use the handle phat_controller on TwitterFlickrFacebook etc.

All blog posts

21 March, 2014 - 20:28
19 November, 2013 - 00:01
31 October, 2013 - 12:24
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2 December, 2012 - 16:31
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