Communities Connect Network Study

The Communities Connect Network (CCN) seeks to help communities in Washington implement community technology  programs for their residents through funding and strategic planning.

What are Community Technology Programs?
“Community technology program means a program, including a digital inclusion program, engaged in diffusing information and communications technology in local communities, particularly in underserved areas. These programs may include, but are not limited to, programs that provide education and skill-building opportunities, hardware and software, internet connectivity, and development of locally relevant content and delivery of vital services through technology.” (Washington State Law E2SSB 6438.SL, Section 7, Paragraph 2, lines 18-25).

About the Communities Connect Network
CCN grew out of a program begun in 1999 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a way for community organizations to receive funding for using technology to help community members improve their lives, increase their knowledge, and meet basic needs. It was created as part of a vision for a self-organized, self-sustaining network for those who were interested and passionate about community technology efforts.

Last summer, the University of Washington Information School conducted a phone survey across 211 agencies in the state identified as community technology providers. 47of these agencies completed the survey, and 7 sites were visited for more in-depth study. This was combined with earlier data to provide a snapshot of community technology in Washington State. Findings from this survey indicate that community technology is having an impact at the individual, family, and community levels in the following domains:

  • Employment/economic
  • Academic skills and literacy
  • Social inclusion and personal growth
  • Independence
  • Access to information and resources
  • Communication

This led to the development of the community technology impact analysis framework that ties domain-specific inputs and activities to outputs and impact. Communities can use this framework to measure the success of their CT programs.

The Community Technology Opportunity Program (CTOP), which grew out of CCN, currently uses this framework. For more on CTOP, see here.

Research Instruments
Telephone survey guide (pdf)
Matrix of indicators (pdf)
Community technology impact assessment framework (pdf)

Findings
Summary of findings (pdf)
CCN case study analysis (pdf)
Impacts and barriers (pdf)
Success stories (pdf)

Case Studies
Delridge Neighborhoods (pdf)
Intel Computer Clubhouse (pdf)
4-H Network News (pdf)
La Casa Hogar (pdf)
Reel Grrls (pdf)
Washington CASH (pdf)
Yesler Terrace (pdf)

Related Readings
Crandall, M., & Fisher, K. E. (2009). Digital Inclusion:  Communicating Impact through Practice and Research. Information Today, Inc.  Medford, NJ.  In press, 2009 release.

Crandall, M., Fisher, K. E., Landry, C. F. (2009). “Communities Connect Network:  Advancing e-Inclusion in Washington State through Community Technology”. Poster presented at iConference 2009: iSociety:  Research, Education, Engagement. Feb. 8-11, 2009. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. [2009 iConference poster][Communities Connect Network poster (final)];

Crandall, M. (2009). “Engaging Community: Methods and Values in Community Informatics”. iConference 2009: iSociety:  Research, Education, Engagement. Feb. 8-11, 2009. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. (Presenter). [http://communitytech.wikispaces.com/iConference+2009]

Crandall, M., and Keyes, D. (2009). “Digital Inclusion: Context and Looking at Recent Data”.  Pacific Northwest Digital Inclusion Summit.  Jan. 28, 2009.  Seattle, WA. [PNW Digital Inclusion Summit presentation]

Crandall, M. (2008). “Communities Connect Network–Communicating CTC Impact to the Legislature”.  CTCNet 2008, November 13, 2008.  Los Angeles, CA. [CTCNet presentation]

Crandall, M., & Fisher, K. E. (2008). “Let’s get wild: Building a national research and service agenda for community technologies and networking”. iConference 2008: Futures: Systems, Selves, Society. Feb. 28-March 1, 2008. Los Angeles: UCLA, CA. (Organizers and presenters). [http://communitytech.wikispaces.com/iConference+2008]

Crandall, M., & Mitchell, M. (2008). “Communities Connect Network”.  Washington Higher Education Legislative Day.  January 23, 2008.  Olympia, WA. [2008 poster]

Crandall, M. (2007). “Digital Inclusion in Action: How Washington’s community technology nonprofits provide access, literacy and content”.  Presentation to Washington Senate Water, Energy and Telecommunications Committee.  Olympia, WA. November 30, 2007 [CCN WET hearing presentation]

Crandall, M. (2007). “Digital Inclusion in Action: How Washington’s community technology nonprofits provide access, literacy and content”.  Presentation to Washington Senate Economic Development, Trade & Management Committee.  Olympia, WA.  November 30, 2007  [CCN ETD hearing presentation]

Crandall, M., & Mitchell, M. (2007). “Communities Connect Network”.  Washington Higher Education Legislative Day.  January 31, 2007.  Olympia, WA. [UW-WSU poster]

Crandall, M., & Fisher, K. E. (2006). “Recognizing the Impact of Community Technology”.  Communities Connect Network Statewide Technology Meeting.  August 16, 2006. [Recognizing the impact of community technology presentation]

Naumer, C. (2008).  Systematic Review Techniques as a Means of Taming “Wicked” Evaluations.  American Evaluation Conference.  Nov. 5-8.  Denver, CO. [Systematic review techniques as a means of taming presentation]