Conducting ICT Research in Community Networks: Reflections from a Long Term Study of the European Social Forum

  • Saqib Saeed University of Siegen
  • Markus Rohde University of Siegen
  • Volker Wulf University of Siegen
Keywords: Ethnogrpahic field study,


Universities and research institutions need to cooperate with civil society networks to conduct socially responsible research in the field. These social organizations differ from traditional organizations as to their organizational form, structure, operations and work practices, which add further implications to the field work. In this paper, we will present our experiences of conducting ethnographic action research at the European Social Forum, which is a European network of heterogeneous social activists participating in the anti-globalization movement. We will discuss the problems that we faced in our field work and will then briefly describe the findings of our work to help other researchers comprehend the difficulties in conducting field work in such settings.

Author Biographies

Saqib Saeed, University of Siegen
Saqib Saeed is a Ph.D. student at University of Siegen, Germany. He holds a Masters degree in software technology from Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, Germany. He was working as lecturer at the department of Computer Sciences and Engineering at Bahria University Islamabad, Pakistan before coming to Siegen.
Markus Rohde, University of Siegen

Markus Rohde, Dr., studied psychology and sociology at the University of Bonn and is one of the founders of the International Institute for Socio-Informatics (IISI). At the moment he is working as project manager for IISI and as research leader of Community Informatics at the Institute for Information Systems,University of Siegen Germany.

Volker Wulf, University of Siegen

Volker Wulf is a Professor in information systems and the director of the Media Research Institute at the University of Siegen, Germany, He also heads a research group of user centred software engineering at Fraunhofer FIT Sankt Augustin and a founding member of the International Institute for Socio-Informatics, Bonn Germany.

How to Cite
Saeed, S., Rohde, M., & Wulf, V. (2011). Conducting ICT Research in Community Networks: Reflections from a Long Term Study of the European Social Forum. The Journal of Community Informatics, 7(3). Retrieved from