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Technology brings about many opportunities, but when unmanaged it also has pitfalls that risk affecting the most vulnerable in society.

Emerging issues with the roll out of Universal Credit, the algorithm associated with A-Level results, and COVID-19 track and trace programmes have shown the prescience of technology related social justice issues in the public sector.

Research is needed which supports the development of appropriate models for regulation in the digital economy (DE), promoting DE in health and social care services, and skilling up civil society to ensure the rapid pace at which these technologies change and become integrated into our society.

Core to this work will be finding ways to mitigate increased social and health inequalities related to the adoption of these tools and applications.

This interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral research group will provide exploratory work to develop a wider body of research on social justice issues related to the use of technology in the public sector under the following themes:

  1. Health and Social Care
  2. Work and the Economy
  3. Social Security and Benefits
  4. Immigration, Detention and Asylum
  5. Education and Training

The group was born out of a webinar held on the 17th of September, 2020.

Hosted by the Ulster University Centre for Public Administration and the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and featuring Professors Virginia Eubanks (University of Albany, SUNY) and Safiya Noble (UCLA), this interactive seminar facilitated discussion across sectors on the key tech and inequality issues facing decision-makers in this fast-moving policy environment.

To find out more, contact Dr Bethany Waterhouse-Bradley at


  • Dyer, Harry Dr.  University of East Anglia
  • Long, Kristi   NHS Scotland
  • Nunes-Vieira, Lucas Dr. Bristol University
  • Luger, Ewa  University of Edinburgh
  • Martinez-Dy, Angela Dr Loughboro University
  • Dent, Anna  Independent Researcher
  • Curran, Kevin  Ulster University
  • Ciara Fitzpatrick  Ulster University
  • Claire Campbell  Ulster University
  • Raymond Bond  Ulster University
  • Maurice Mulvenna  Ulster University