PhD Defence: Heidi Esma Dahl Bønnhoff on Migrant mothers meeting the digitalised Norwegian welfare state Tuesday June 21. 2021

“The findings provide important knowledge for social workers by showing how digitisation of public services may affect family life.”

The disputation will be held digitally, because of the Corona covid-19-situation. Spectators may follow the disputation digitally – link is available below. The disputation will be held in Scandinavian languages.
About the thesis the defence and registration

Lansering GoForIT 21. april

CeDiT og UiA er blant initiativtakerne til GoForIT – Norges ledende plattform for kunnskapsutvikling i skjæringspunktet mellom digitalisering og bærekraft. Verden trenger bærekraftig omstilling og digitalisering er ofte sentralt i omstilling. Sammenhengene mellom bærekraft og digitalisering er imidlertid komplekse og det er stort behov for kunnskapsutvikling. Derfor samler inviteres akademia, næringsliv og offentlig sektor til faglig nettverk med erfaringsutveksling, stimulerende diskusjoner og nyskaping.

21 april 2021 lanseres nettverket med en rekke engasjerende innledere og viktige debatter.

Lanseringen er digital. 

Program og påmelding (gratis)

Special Issue: “Exploring Relationships between Digitalization and Sustainability”

We invite manuscripts from a range of disciplines to explore relationships between sustainability and digitalization and in doing so respond to one of the grand challenges of our time.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Leif Skiftenes Flak
Guest Editor
Department of Information systems, University of Agder, 4630 Kristiansand, Norway
Interests: digital transformation; digital government; benefits management; eparticipation; digitalization & sustainability

Prof. Dr. Devinder Thapa
Guest Editor
Department of Information systems, University of Agder, 4630 Kristiansand, Norway
Interests: information and communicaiton technology for development (ICT4D)

Prof. Dr. Alexander Ruser
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology & Social Work, University of Agder, 4630 Kristiansand, Norway
Interests: environmental sociology; digital communication & political networks; expertise & sustainability

Dr. Vito Laterza
Guest Editor
Department of Global Development and Planning, University of Agder, 4630 Kristiansand, Norway
Interests: anthropology; digitalization; sustainable development; political economy; higher education; communication

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global sustainability challenge is currently a key concern for policy makers and researchers. The United Nations has defined sustainability broadly in 3 dimensions: societal, economic, and biospherical. The recent European Green Deal illustrates the urgency of the problem and the massive efforts needed to respond to it. Several actors, e.g., the European Union and Digital Europe, point to digital technologies as key enablers in addressing the sustainability challenges. At the same time, research shows that digital technologies could have negative as well as positive impacts on sustainability. Digitalization drives global energy consumption to new heights. Digital communication is instrumental in spreading climate skepticism and other narratives that oppose transitions towards more sustainable futures. In summary, sustainability and digitalization are broad and complex phenomena and the relationship between them has not been extensively explored by the academic community so far. There is thus a pressing need to develop more and better knowledge on this relationship.

The research domain outlined above is inherently multi- or interdisciplinary. We therefore invite manuscripts from a broad range of disciplines including but not limited to information systems, sociology, anthropology, political science, public administration, and urban planning.

The Special Issue seeks to contribute to an improved theoretical understanding of the relationship between digitalization and sustainability. We invite both conceptual and empirical papers that may provide new insights in the form of frameworks, theory development, and practical examples of the mentioned relationship.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The impact of digital technologies on the triple bottom line (societal, economic, and environmental)
  • The circular economy and digital technologies
  • Big data and analytics for sustainable development
  • Positive and negative impact of digital technologies on energy consumption
  • Digital technologies as catalysts for sustainable societal transformation
  • Green IT / Climate impact of digital technologies
  • Digital communication and sustainability
  • Micro-, meso-, and macro-level analyses

The detailed schedule is as following:

  • Abstract (maximum 500 words) submission March 26, 2021
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: April 16, 2021
  • Full manuscript deadline: September 10, 2021

Please note that an online author workshop will be hosted on Thursday April 22 at 3-5pm (CET). All authors of accepted abstracts will be invited.

Prof. Dr. Leif Skiftenes Flak
Prof. Dr. Devinder Thapa
Prof. Dr. Alexander Ruser
Dr. Vito Laterza
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sustainability
  • digitalization
  • digital technologies
  • ICT4D
  • smart cities
  • UN sustainability development goals

Webinar 25. January 2021: Digital learning in Nordic higher education before and after Covid-19

Zoom webinar convened by Vito Laterza, Cathrine Tømte, Rómulo Pinheiro & Aleksandar Avramovic.

Hosted by the Centre for Digital Transformation (CeDiT), University of Agder. 

In this webinar, scholars from Denmark, Norway and Sweden doing cutting-edge research on digitalisation of teaching and learning in Nordic higher education will debate current practices and future prospects, exploring the impact of Covid-19 and with an eye to the long-term implications of the rapid changes we have experienced in the past few months.

The format is centred around small presentations and two panels, which will also engage with questions from the virtual floor.

The webinar also marks the launch of the recently published special issue “Digital transformations with ‘Nordic characteristics’? Latest trends in the digitalisation of teaching and learning in Nordic higher education”, published by the Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy in December 2020.

The event is public and it will be recorded for further dissemination.

Program and registration

Webinar – “”Doing qualitative research in a digital world” 1. October 2020

Doing qualitative research in a digital world – Key takeaways for PhD students during a pandemic

We recognize that the pandemic may cause frustration and challenges, especially for PhD students, and invite all PhD students at the Social science faculty at UiA to this webinar.The speakers will introduce key takeaways from their upcoming book and engage in a discussion with us afterwards.


Trena M. Paulus, Professor, East Tennessee State University, USA

Jessica N. Lester, Associate Professor, Indiana University, USA

The speakers are, among many things, the authors of the upcoming book “Doing qualitative research in a digital world” which can provide useful insights in qualitative research processes in general and especially during the current pandemic.

Description of book
While some qualitative methods texts touch upon online communities as a potential data source, show how to conduct interviews and focus groups online, or select recording devices and analysis software, no book to date has guided readers in the creation of a comprehensive digital workflow for their research. By working through each chapter in this book, readers will be able to generate a unique digital workflow for designing and implementing their research. The book provides a deep exploration of the relationship between theories of technology, substantive theories, and methodological theory, and shows how together these inform the development of a quality research design. The authors include vignettes—narratives written by qualitative researchers describing cutting-edge use of digital tools and spaces—and also give examples of published studies, which together provide practical illustration of the content. Woven throughout is explicit attention to ethical challenges that are likely to be faced by researchers when adopting digital tools. The book invites readers to engage in a critical appraisal of the role of technology in qualitative research through reflection, conversation, and engagement with the larger community of researchers.

Speaker bios
Dr. Trena M. Paulus, Ph.D. is a Professor and Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities at East Tennessee State University, USA, and an affiliate faculty member with the Applied Social Research Laboratory at ETSU. She was a Professor of Qualitative Research Methods at the University of Georgia from 2014-2019, and Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling and coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville from 2003-2014. She holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology, an M.A. from Ohio University in Applied Linguistics, and a B.A. from Franklin College in English and Philosophy. Dr. Paulus’ scholarship is primarily in the area of methodological innovation, especially as it intersects with new technologies. She is co-author of Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World (in press for 2020, Sage US), Looking for Insight Transformation and Learning in Online Talk (2019, Routledge) and Digital Tools for Qualitative Research (2014, Sage UK). Dr. Paulus is also a certified professional trainer for ATLAS.ti qualitative data analysis software.

Jessica Nina Lester, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Inquiry Methodology (Qualitative Research) in the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research from the University of Tennessee, a M.Ed. from University of Mary in Education, and a B.A. in Biology from Jamestown College. Much of her scholarship is situated at the intersection of discourse and conversation analysis, disability studies, and more general concerns related to qualitative research methodologies and methods. She has authored or co-authored over 80 peer reviewed journal articles as well as numerous books and book chapters. Her most recent books include Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World (co-authored with Trena Paulus, in press, Sage US), Applied conversation analysis: Social interaction in institutional settings (co-authored with Michelle O’Reilly, Sage US), and Centering diverse bodyminds in critical qualitative inquiry (co-edited with Emily Nusbaum, with Routledge).

Disputas: Marilex Rea Llave om “Adopsjon av forretningsanalyse i SMB” Fredag 28.08.2020

Marilex Rea Llave disputerer for ph.d.-graden med avhandlingen «Business Intelligence and Analytics in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises» fredag 28. august 2020.

Om avhandling og disputas

Marilex Rea Llave disputerer for ph.d.-graden med avhandlingen «Business Intelligence and Analytics in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises» fredag 28. august 2020.

Kandidaten: Marilex Rea Llave (1984 Kawit, Cavite, Filippinene). BA Bachelor i Computer Science – San Sebastian College Recoletos Cavite City, Filippinene og MA – Master i IKT – Universitetet i Agder (2014). Masteroppgave tittel: “Towards a multilevel ant colony optimization“.  Nåværende stilling – Analytics Konsulent hos Sysco AS.

Veiledere i doktorgradsarbeidet var professor Dag Håkon Olsen, Institutt for informasjonssystemer, UiA (hovedveileder) og professor Eli Hustad, Institutt for informasjonssystemer, UiA (medveileder)

Webinar on Network Governance and Digital Technologies in a Covid-19 World, 8. September

Kl. 8.00-9.00 am., Central European Time (CET)
Kl. 4.00-5.00 pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
Sign up within 5. september 2020.

In this facilitated open webinar we invite practitioners of public and community sectors in both Queensland (Australia) and Norway to reflect on their experiences, identify challenges and opportunities, and explore future collaborations in this new context. The event is organized by University of Agder in collaboration with Southern Cross University, Australia.

Government and community leaders in Norway and Australia share experiences and reflections on the role of networks and digital technologies in responding to the challenges of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified society’s reliance on both personal data and ICT networks and, in many cases, has required a rapid transformation of existing communication patterns and service delivery models. The real-time development and navigation of this increasingly complex and networked world and its electronic/digital supports is challenging and often precedes established practice. As the public sector strengthens its capability and capacity to work relationally and digitally, collaborative networks are extending into private and not for profit sectors to design and deliver the best solutions for community. While digital solutions were quickly implemented, several of these have been criticized for security flaws and insufficient privacy protection. As such, the pandemic may therefore have provided a glimpse of some of the unintended consequences of digitalization that may have far reaching implications for governance.

Panel discussion recorded
Length 1 hour

Introduction and Panel 1
Length: 3 hours.

Introduction and Panel 2

Length: 3 hours.

Final joint Discussion and Closing session
Length: 28 minutes.

Call for chapters: Scientific Foundations of Digital Governance and Transformation

Springer will publish a new book on Digital governance and invite submissions. The proposal submission deadline is 1 March 2020.

Scientific Foundations of Digital Governance and Transformation –
Concepts, Approaches and Challenges

A book to be published by Springer Publications and edited by:

Yannis Charalabidis, University of the Aegean, Greece, 
Leif Skiftenes Flak, University of Agder, Norway
Gabriela Viale Pereira, Danube University Krems, Austria

Objective of the Book

This title aims at providing the latest research advancements and findings for the scientific systematization of the Digital Governance and Transformation knowledge, such as core concepts, foundational principles, theories, methodologies, architectures, assessment frameworks, educational programs and future directions. It will bring forward the ingredients of this new domain, proposing its needed formal and systematic tools, exploring its relation with neighboring scientific domains and finally prescribing the next steps for eventually achieving the thrilling goal of laying the foundations of a new science. 

This book is an activity stemming from Government 3.0 Erasmus+ project (

Target Audience

The audience of the book includes:

●     Researchers and Practitioners in the Digital Governance Domain, Digital Transformation, Information Systems and in the broader ICT domain

●     University Students and Professors from different disciplines 

●    ICT industry experts, engaged in public sector information systems, software design and deployment projects

●     Policy makers and decision drivers at local, national or international level 

The title will contribute to the analysis of the scientific perspectives of Digital Governance and Transformation, thus becoming an indispensable support tool for scientists and practitioners, either from the administrative or the technical side.

Important dates

  • 1st March 2020 Proposal Submission Deadline
  •  15th March 2020 Notification of Proposal Acceptance
  • 1st June 2020 Full Chapter Submission Deadline
  • 1st September 2020 Notification of Chapter Acceptance & Review Results
  • 1st November 2020 Camera–Ready Chapters Submission Deadline
  • Spring 2021 Planned Book Publication

The full call for chapters

CeDiT project studies regional transport plans, citizen participation and digital communications in southern Norway

Kim Øvland (UiA PhD candidate), facilitating group work with Jon-Olav Strand (Aust-Agder fylkeskommune), May Britt Lunde (Tvedestrand kommune), Vidar Bjørkli (Froland kommune) and Per Svenningsen (Grimstad kommune).

Citizen participation in Aust-Agder

How can policy-makers and politicians guarantee fair and meaningful citizen participation? How should they engage with new, digital ways to communicate ideas and contested issues, mobilise support and influence local political agendas?

These are some of the questions discussed in three workshops held between 14th and 22nd November  at Sørlandet Kunnskapshavn in Arendal. The participants were local policymakers and elected representatives from the municipalities, the county government and the regional road agency involved in the Areal- og transportplan Arendalsregionen, the regional transport plan for Arendal, Froland, Grimstad and Tvedestrand, four municipalities in Agder county, southern Norway.

Their discussions were facilitated by a research team that came together as a collaboration between CeDiT, University of Agder´s network Bynett Sør (linking academics and policy-makers), and regional climate policy advocacy network Klimapartnere Agder. Co-production of knowledge with non-academic partners has been at the centre of the project vision from the beginning.

The workshops are part of a research project that studies the linkages between:

  • institutional and non-institutional communication and participation processes at play in the design and implementation of Arendal’s regional transport plan;
  • smart mobility as climate policy;
  • the issue of road tolls as financing mechanism for climate-friendly regional transport plans;
  • the role played by digital communications and social media in these processes.

Individual interviews with workshop participants are now being carried out. The expected outputs will include academic articles, and co-production of ready-to-use knowledge and background materials with participants from the institutions involved in the transport plan.

Research team

The research team is led by two CeDiT senior scholars: anthropologist Vito Laterza and sociologist Alex Ruser. The project brings together their international perspectives, previous experience in similar projects and policy advising in Germany, Italy, Austria, Zambia and South Africa, with a strong Norwegian knowledge base.

University of Agder (UiA) PhD candidates Rachel Berglund and Kim Øvland are contributing with their in-depth knowledge of institutional policy, communication and participation processes in southern Norway. William Fagerheim from Bynett Sør and Gunn Spikkeland Hansen from Klimapartnere Agder are providing important perspectives from policy and civil society organisations.

Erna Synnøve Kjensjord, UiA media officer, is providing key insights into media coverage of local and national politics around transport plans and the debate on road tolls. Research assistant Katrin Vandrecht, with a background in development studies and communication, is carrying out the bulk of the data collection and contributing to analysis and write up.

April 15-16 2020, Mini conference on Governance & Complex Networks In Times Of Turbulence And Digital Transformation

The Department of Political Science and Management and the Center for Digital Transformation (CEDIT) at the University of Agder (UiA) will host a mini conference taking place in the beautiful, sunny city of Kristiansand in Southern Norway.

Purpose of the conference

The purpose of the conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss relevant research aspects concerning change and innovation in the public sector in times of turbulence and digital transformation. Across the world, public organizations and agencies responsible for delivering a multiplicity of services – health, education, social care, etc. – are facing unprecedented challenges associated with broader government-led reforms aimed at making the sector more efficient, accountable and user-centered. This occurs against the backdrop of increasing turbulence (social, political, economic, cultural) and the transition towards a knowledge-centered and digital-oriented society and economy.

As a result, new modes of governance, leadership and citizen engagement are being experienced and tested, triggering significant effects for established concepts of leadership and coordination. A mini-conference focusing on these trends provides an opportunity to take stock of ongoing policy and scholarly developments across several sub-disciplinary fields and geographies.

This event precedes IRSPM’s 2020 annual conference in neighboring Tampere, Finland, gathering scholars and practitioners working across multiple topics and provides an unprecedented opportunity for developing new research collaborations and partnerships, including interdisciplinary ones. Moreover, it is an excellent platform for early career researchers to receive direct feedback on their work by more experienced scholars. The conference features three parallel tracks (see call for abstracts) reflecting the multi-disciplinary intent and the overall theme of the mini-conference is endorsed by two Special Interests Groups (IRSPM) – Complexity Network Governance and Connecting Public Management Researchers Practitioners for Improved Outcomes Outcomes.

Please note that there is no conference fee .

Call for abstracts

Abstracts should clearly indicate how the paper links with both the specific track (see below) as well as the overall theme of the conference.

The deadline for submitting abstracts (maximum 500 words) is 15th of December 2019.
Authors will receive confirmation of acceptance/rejection by 22nd December 2019. Please submit your abstract to:

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