UNU Institute in Macau Research Fellow, Dr. Juhee Kang, visited the Republic of Korea and met with various Korean government agencies and research institutes to exchange ideas on ICT for Development (ICTD) research and praxis in South Korea. Among the agencies visited were the Korean Women’s Development Institute (KWDI), Korean Association of International Development and Cooperation (KAIDEC), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and the National Information Society Agency (NIA). Juhee introduced ongoing research projects at UNU Institute in Macau and highlighted the importance of ICT-based innovations for South Korea’s growing international development programs. She also stressed the value of exploring research collaboration opportunities in order to extend regional research partnerships and bridge existing gaps between the intellectual community of ICTD researchers and practitioners in the field.
At KDWI – a leading gender policy institute in South Korea, Dr. Kang held meetings with researchers from the Center for International Development and Cooperation where she gave an overview of the gender-focused EQUALS Research project and discussed potential research collaborations on the topic of ICT-enabled women’s empowerment. Other discussions with Dr. Hee Jin Lee, President of KAIDEC and Professor at Yonsei University, centered on how to incubate the increasing interests of Korean researchers in ICTD research as well as exploring strategies to encourage Korean researchers to participate in global ICTD discussions, including engaging with UNU Institute in Macau researchers. In addition, as a part of her ongoing research, Juhee met with the Head of the Digital Divide at NIA to learn more about existing ICT education programs for North Korean defectors in South Korea. During the visit, she also conducted a participant observation of the government-led ICT training course for North Korean defectors and carried out additional interviews for her research.