In 2017, SIID’s new Digital Tech, Data and Innovation research theme helped co-found a new network, ICT4D North of England (oE), linking researchers from eight universities in the North of England who work on digital tools and international development. The network unites Sheffield University, Manchester University, Sheffield Hallam, Manchester Metropolitan, UCLAN, Bolton, Salford and Liverpool University. Its aim is to foster intellectual exchange, research synergies and collaborations within the geographical region and make our multi-polar cluster of expertise even more visible. The open call for papers for the Sheffield-hosted 2nd ICT4D North Annual Workshop attracted more papers than ever and 54 researchers from different disciplines and career stages attended. The event this year was designed to coincide with the GCRF Digital Development workshop and allowed overseas visitors of the DigDev network hailing from 13 countries to participate in ICT4D North. The local organising team included Dr Pamela Abbott, Dr Sammia Poveda, Dr Andrea Jimenez, Dr Jaime Echavarri, SIID PhD student Hannah McCarrick and Prof Dorothea Kleine.

Prof Kleine, research theme lead for SIID-DDI said: “It was great to welcome everybody to Sheffield and showcase the breadth and depth of expertise in the SIID-DDI group. This is what we can offer and bring to collaborations with colleagues from other universities. My personal favourite moment of the day was seeing Dr Pamela Abbott chair our opening panel on “Voices from the global South” and inviting the panelists to point the global North members of the audience to key Southern scholars we should all read, cite and include in our course reading lists. It was a day full of such diverse exchanges. ”