Joyojeet Pal is an assistant professor at the School of Information who both teaches and conducts research on the role of information and communications technology in development (ICTD). He graduated with a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley. Joyojeet received his bachelor’s degree in commerce and economics from Sydenham College in Mumbai, where he worked as a journalist and a web designer before moving to Berkeley for his graduate studies.
SI 545: “Information Technology and Development: Contemporary Issues”
Joyojeet’s work focuses on social and technological issues related to the role of information and communications technology in economic development around the world. His classes aim to introduce School of Information students to ways in which technology is impacting the developing world in a range of domains areas, from governance and education to healthcare and finance. In the past he has worked in India, Brazil, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, and managed research through much of Latin America.
His current research is on assistive technology in the developing world. He works on the role of screen reading technology in workplace accessibility, especially in parts of the world where people with vision impairments have not had significant job opportunities until recently. He believes that assistive technologies are likely to comprise an important part of development discourse in the next few decades both because of legal consequences of international efforts, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and because there is a slowly growing awareness worldwide of disability in terms of human rights and accessibility as fundamental to social inclusion.
In the past, Joyojeet has worked on research related to computer sharing by children in environments where a one-computer-per-child ratio is not feasible. His work led to the MultiPoint project at Microsoft Research, variants of which are used for shared-computing-based learning in schools in several parts of the world.
Joyojeet has also worked extensively on the role of individual and collective aspiration in contributing to positive discourse on technology in the developing world. Within this realm, he has written on the portrayal of computers and computer engineers in popular cinema in Southern India, where technology enjoys a particular pride of place as key to middle class aspirations.