PROTIC (Participatory Research and Ownership with Technology, Information and Change)

PROTIC project is a collaboration between Monash, Faculty of IT and OXFAM. It is part of the faculty’s research flagship theme of IT for Resilient Cultures. It is led by COSI researchers Larry Stillman and Tom Denison in partnership with OXFAM Bangladesh.

PROTIC means a sign or symbol in Bengali. PROTIC therefore articulates the symbol of development and progress, the sign of digitisation, a token of recognition (of community voice) and the image of action research (by Monash and Oxfam). The Oxfam Bangladesh team in conjunction with Faculty of IT investigators are involved in a new 5-year international development project based on mobile communications. The team works with isolated rural Bangladeshi communities to focus on empowering rural women through an interactive community information service, developing technical information applications supporting: crops/livestock/disease alerts, buying and selling, agricultural and climate science, disaster alerts, entitlement rights, and housing and health.

Project objectives

  • To develop and implement an interactive mobile phone information system and responsive community ‘hub’ in Bangladesh, for isolated communities in sand islands (char) and coastal communities as a model for further uptake.
  • To engage village communities, local NGOs, universities in Bangladesh, Oxfam and Monash University in Participatory Action Research (PAR).
  • To give agency to community voices via the interactive mobile phone information system, thus resulting in the meaningful change for people in poverty; to affect change in communications and information system design and implementation; to affect change in how other stakeholders work with an advocate on the part of these communities.
  • To develop significant practical and theoretical insights about information and communications and PAR to share with the development and academic communities in Bangladesh and elsewhere.
  • To evaluate and demonstrate positive effects on community capacity.

Key Monash Research Staff, Centre for Community and Social Informatics (COSI)

Monash Faculty of IT

  • Dr Larry Stillman, Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Tom Denison, Senior Researcher
  • Prof. Sue McKemmish
  • Prof. Mark Wallace
  • A/Prof. Gillian Oliver

Key staff in Oxfam Bangladesh

  • Mr Snehal Soneji, Country Director, Oxfam in Bangladesh
  • Mr Mohammed Akhter, Program Manager, Oxfam in Bangladesh
  • Mr Tapas Chakraborty, Program Officer, Partnership, Oxfam in Bangladesh
  • Ms Auvi Priodarshine, Senior Program Officer

Key staff in Oxfam Australia

  • Min Wah Voom
  • Chrisanta Muli

Research students

PhD scholarship opportunities are available as part of this project.


The project is now in its implementation stage (2017-2019) after piloting in 2016.

Implementing partners

Partner logos


Dr. Larry Stillman, Lead Researcher

Dr. Tom Denison

A/Prof. Gillian Oliver

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