Lauri Goldkind and Mamello Thinyane

Visiting Fellow in Small Data

July 4, 2017

Lauri Goldkind, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University. She is also the newly named editor of the Journal of Technology in Human Services. She teaches Human Rights and Social Justice, Nonprofit Fundraising, Nonprofit Technology, and Policy Analysis courses for graduate students in New York, NY. In addition, she has developed one of only a few social work practice and technology courses in the US, Digital Social Work Practice, now being offered for its third year at Fordham. She is the co-author, with Lea Wolf and Paul Freddolino of a book due out in the fall with Oxford University Press called Digital Social Work: tools for practice with individuals, agencies, and communities. The book will also have an online component, facilitated by a wiki where instructors can share classroom materials for using case studies on social work practices with technology in their classes.

Here at the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS), she is working with Mamello Thinyane, Small Data Lab leader and research intern Vikram Kamath of Carnegie Mellon on the Small Data & SDGs project at UNU-CS. While in Macau she is exploring two research questions: first, how community-based organizations (CBOs) can serve as a conduit for data reporting so that the voices of underrepresented and vulnerable groups can be better represented at the national and international levels; and second, how community-based organizations make use of information and communication technology (ICT) to improve services to their constituents. According to Lauri, “working with the local CBO partner, Caritas Macau, is a great opportunity to explore and compare how service delivery and administration is similar to and different from, service delivery in the US, especially given the very different socio-political and cultural context than the United States.”

Dr. Goldkind is here in Macau with her very brave seven-year-old daughter Harper, who has made fast friends with the other children of UNU-CS. Lauri also told us that “the vibrant intellectual atmosphere at UNU is comparable to finding a grand interdisciplinary retreat. I have been working on plans to return since approximately week two of my arrival.”

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