Anita Gurumurthy is a founding member and executive director of IT for Change, an India-based NGO that works at the intersection of development and digital technologies. The organisational vision on social justice in the network society draws upon Southern critiques of mainstream development, and its key strategy is to create and work through trust-based coalitions and horizontal alliances. Through her work at IT for Change, Anita has attempted to promote conversations between theory and practice. In addition to research responsibilities at IT for Change, Anita also leads the work of the organisation's field resource centre that works with grassroots communities on 'technology for social change' models. Equity and community-ownership, focussing particularly on socially marginalised women, are the cornerstones of such model building.
Anita currently provides leadership to many projects at IT for Change -
- A multi-country action research project Women-gov, funded by IDRC, in India, Brazil and South Africa, that employs the possibilities of the network society, for bringing marginalised women to the centrestage of local governance processes.
- A UNWomen Fund for Gender Equality project – Making Women's Voices and Votes Count, to network elected women leaders in local government, across 3 sites in India and involving3 NGO partners.
- A project supported by the National Mission for Empowerment of Women, Ministry of Women and Child Development, India, to set up information centres for rural women to access entitlements, working closely with government departments.
- A book publication with Zubaan Books, that will bring to closure an Asia-wide research programme anchored by IT for Change on gender and citizenship.
- Design of a course to be offered by IT for Change, along with Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, that will bring together a diverse group of scholars, activists, students and media professionals on Social Justice in the Information Society
- A Gender and ICTs brief, commissioned by BRIDGE, IDS Sussex, supported by DFID.
Anita is currently part of many advisory groups; she serves on the Board of ISIS International - Manila, is on the International Advisory Group of BRIDGE at IDS Sussex, is advisor to SciDev.net, serves on the National Resource Group of the Mahila Samakhya women's empowerment programme of the Ministry of HRD - Government of India, and is on the Advisory Group of Ending VAW: Research on Legal Remedies and Corporate Policies - a global programme of APC, supported by the Dutch Government's FLOW Fund. Anita has brought perspectives of the global South into several critical global forums. She was a participant of the Second Harvard Forum on ICTs and Development, hosted by Prof. Amartya Sen, Berkman Centre for Internet and Society and IDRC, in September 2009. In March 2013, she was invited by the Swedish Government as civil society speaker on a panel discussion to follow up on the Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution on Human Rights and the Internet, at UNHRC.
Anita has been leading and contributing to many policy related processes actively; she represented civil society at the UN Internet Governance Forum's closing session, in 2008, and at the WSIS plus 10 review at UNESCO Paris, in February 2013. She was part of the high level committee of UNESCAP in its Beijing plus 15 process. She has been actively supporting the work of the UN Rapporteur on Cultural Rights and contributed to the UN Working Group On Discrimination Against Women. Anita also led the political participation track of the International Working Forum on Women, ICTs and Development, organised by UNWomen and U.S Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues in 2013.
Prior to IT for Change, Anita worked as Research Consultant for ten years with the Centre for Public Policy at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), where she was project leader on a national level research study on Public Private Partnerships in Health. She also coordinated a course at IIMB for NGOs, on Globalisation and Development. Earlier, she worked as Research Associate with National Institute of Advanced Studies, managing a large scale survey on women's rights in Karnataka, India.