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XXII.6 November - December 2015
Page: 77
Digital Citation

SIGCHI’s support for HCI in developing worlds

Zhengjie Liu, John Karat, Gerrit van der Veer, Tuomo Kujala

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With a mission to become a geographically inclusive global community, SIGCHI has since 2009 been strengthening its efforts in the developing worlds to promote HCI. These initiatives usually begin with a SIGCHI-organized regional meeting between delegates from local HCI communities and SIGCHI officers, with the goal of enabling mutual learning and providing networking opportunities for the various local communities. So far, such meetings have taken place in Asia (Beijing, March 2011), Latin America (Belo Horizonte, July 2012), and Africa (Cape Town, September 2013), helping local communities organize and work together by planning follow-up activities sponsored by SIGCHI. The increased awareness of HCI in these regions has helped local communities to form, sustain themselves, and connect with each other, and reinforced their ties with SIGCHI. Examples of encouraging outcomes include the establishment of the SIGCHI Latin America Community, the foundation of a SIGCHI local chapter in Indonesia, and the formation of a community in Africa to found the inaugural pan-Africa conference—AfriCHI in 2016.

Recognizing that local communities in the developing world face specific, often unique challenges to their survival and growth, SIGCHI provides financial resources and expertise through its Development Fund to support HCI activities in less-developed regions and the growing worldwide SIGCHI community. The SIGCHI Guidelines for Supporting HCI in Developing Worlds ( was published in February 2015 specifically to address these needs.

SIGCHI provides financial resources and expertise through its Development Fund to support HCI activities in less-developed regions.

In general, SIGCHI supports activities that encourage connections between SIGCHI and local communities, that help local communities to network with each other and self-organize to work on their own issues, and that support local communities to mature and become sustainable.

When considering supporting an activity, SIGCHI likes to see that its support will lead to a mutually beneficial relationship and will expand the SIGCHI community and network. Taking its contributions as a kind of seed, SIGCHI hopes to see a clear rationale for how its support will help cultivate the sustainability of the local community.

Based on past experiences, the activities that SIGCHI prefers to support include but are not limited to:

  • Events for community growth in a country or region
  • Travel of invited speakers from the SIGCHI community to local events
  • Events for connecting different communities, which could be on geography, discipline, industry, etc.
  • Activities related to HCI education
  • Student volunteers at local events or SIGCHI-sponsored events
  • Tutoring Ph.D. students to present papers at SIGCHI-sponsored events
  • Summer schools or mentoring activities
  • Sending representatives (local leaders or students) from local communities to major SIGCHI events.

In addition, SIGCHI recently established the Gary Marsden Student Development Fund to sponsor postgraduate students from the developing countries to attend SIGCHI sponsored/co-sponsored conferences (see

We have experienced successes and some frustrations, and we have learned a lot during these years. Helping HCI to mature in the developing worlds is a long-term goal for SIGCHI. Although it's challenging, we have every reason to continue and work toward a truly geographically inclusive SIGCHI.

Zhengjie Liu, [email protected]

Gerrit van der Veer, [email protected]

Tuomo Kujala, [email protected]

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