Cornell University
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IS Graduate Seminar Series - Maggie Jack, 4/22/2016

Friday, April 22, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Gates Hall 310

Title: "Logistics as Care and Control: An Investigation of the UNICEF Supply Division" 

Abstract: "This paper investigates emerging practices and infrastructures in global humanitarian relief to argue for logistics as an essential but often neglected component of ICTD and broader HCI work. Logistics – the artful coordination of human and material flows – leverages scholarship on “coordination,” “articulation” and “infrastructure” to provide insight into the complex role of new IT systems (and HCI as a field) in the global circulation of goods and relations. Drawing on fieldwork with the UNICEF Supply Division, we argue that contemporary logistics operates simultaneously as a form of care and control. We demonstrate that logisticians at Supply traverse messy and dynamic information and material infrastructures, and that effective logistical work must marry and bridge these worlds. Our work extends ICTD and postcolonial computing research by casting light on the nature, experience and ambivalence of the global flows that enable and support HCI work in development and postcolonial settings."