The Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) Collective is involved in a range of activities designed to enhance the appropriate use of information and Communications Technologies to support poor and marginalised communities across the world.
The ICT4D Collective at Royal Holloway, University of London was initiated in 2004. In 2007 it was awarded the status of a UNESCO Chair in ICT4D, and in 2009 it became an official multidisciplinary research centre in the College. The Collective works in partnership to undertake research, teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate) and consultancy relating to the appropriate and sustainable use of ICT for development.
Dr Mark Exworthy in the School of Management, collaborating with other academics from Royal Holloway, University of London; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Birmingham University; Durham University; and the Open University, carried out a study for the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO).
Recent English health policy has aimed to increase local autonomy and enhance organisational performance. Decentralisation, it is often claimed, can solve multiple organisational and policy dilemmas. The study found that freedom from the centre did not always facilitate freedom to innovate or be responsive to local needs because local practitioners may have been able but were not always willing to exercise autonomy. The emphasis on formal performance (e.g. activity or financial metrics) tended to overlook the role played by informal performance (e.g. goodwill and trust). The study has implications for the design and implementation of health system reforms in England.
For the last six years students in the Department of Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, have been encouraging elderly people to tell their stories. Inspired by the work of Age Exchange Theatre Trust, elderly residents in care homes have enjoyed taking part in creative activities, helped by students, who are at the same time learning about the relationship between memory and social well-being. Led by Professor Helen Nicholson, reminiscence theatre has taken place in different residential homes across the south east of England, as well as for elders who live in care near Hiroshima in Japan.
Music often plays a central role in the workshops, particularly with dementia patients who are often able to remember the words of songs they knew as a child long after their childhood memories have been forgotten.
Reminiscence theatre has its roots in health and social care, where reminiscence therapy has been used to encourage the social and psychological well-being of older citizens.
Our understanding of the Holocaust - its origins, its aftermath and relation to the history of the twentieth century - is still developing, 65 years after Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by soldiers of the Red Army. To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2010, the Holocaust Research Centre at Royal Holloway, University of London and the Imperial War Museum (IWM) organised an evening of debate and discussion on 27 January, bringing together leading Holocaust historians from Royal Holloway.
Also marking the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Holocaust Research Centre, the evening saw internationally renowned Royal Holloway Professors David Cesarani OBE, Peter Longerich, Dan Stone and Zoe Waxman explore the state of current research. The event, ‘Understanding the Holocaust Today’, was chaired by the Deputy Director of the Holocaust Research Centre, Professor Robert Eaglestone.
Introduced by Suzanne Bardgett OBE (IWM), the topics included the changes in Russia and Eastern Europe; the question of survivors and memory after the last eye witness dies and war crimes.
Professor Robert Eaglestone comments, “The process of remembering is never stationary. Recent research by historians has added a great deal to what we know of the Holocaust, and much of this material is not yet widely known”. Professor David Cesarani adds, "Sadly, regimes around the world continue to commit atrocities. Studying the perpetrators and the mechanics of Nazi genocide offers some hope of understanding why mass atrocity occurs - if not stopping it. And we have a duty to remember the victims as well as listening to the survivors as long as they are with us. The Centre does all this.”