The Informationalisation of the Australian Community Sector

Rebecca French and Larry Stillman

Based on research in Australia, this article offers explanatory concepts about how welfare workers deal with contradictions between the rationalising ‘informationalisation’ of welfare system governance and the demands of people-centred welfare practice, or ‘technologies of care’. While the situation in Australia with respect to the relationship between government, funders and welfare workers may not be mirrored in other places, the concepts are relevant for the development of local research, insights and practice. Suggestions are also made for further action to bridge the gap between information systems design and welfare practice through the adoption of a dialogic and representational system for more effective interoperable design that reflects the needs of the major parties involved, including funders, designers and particularly welfare workers.

Keywords: Social-technical systems, data doubles, electronic children, bricolage, informationalisation, governmentality, electronic welfare work.

Social Policy & Society (2014)  doi:10.1017/S1474746414000098

Article, SPS 2014

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