Dr Carla Bonina

Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
PhD in Management, London School of Economics and Political Science
61 MS 03
Please email me for an appointment


Areas of specialism

Digital government ; Open data; Digital platforms and international development; Sustainability and digital social innovation; Latin America

My qualifications

PhD in Management
London School of Economics and Political Science
MA in public policy and public administration
Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE), Mexico City
BSc Economics
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
IODC18: Interview with Carla Bonina by Alex Howard


Research interests

Research projects

Indicators of esteem


    Postgraduate research supervision



    Access my Zenodo Repository with further open access materials https://zenodo.org/communities/carlabonina/

    Visit my Google Scholar page https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=yvLFJpAAAAAJ

    CARLA BONINA, Daniela Arregui Coka, Agustina Perez, Mateo Rojas, Mariana Rozo Paz (2021)Estudio Exploratorio Regional en Big Data para el Desarrollo Sostenible en Latinoamérica y el Caribe
    JM Liebenau, SM Elaluf-Calderwood, CM Bonina (2014)Modularity and network integration: Emergent business models in banking, In: Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciencespp. 1183-1192

    This paper introduces the concept of modularity in financial services, discusses how new value chains are created and addresses emerging opportunities for innovative business models in the digital economy. We argue that innovation occurred in the banking sector despite the lagging adoption of new operational practices but due to technology drive for new ways to provide services. Banking innovation is commonly a matter of case facilitation vs. lock-in, in which the systemic effects of balancing delay vs. fast progress requires business model choices. In the banking sector, where there is little power stability among stakeholders, asymmetrical periods of dynamism are triggered by the modernization of the systems [13]. The main argument of this paper is that we can use models of modularity and network integration to improve our understanding of sustainable emerging banking practices. This is fundamental when establishing the potential contribution of this sector to digital economy models. © 2014 IEEE.

    CM Bonina, MR Illa (2008)Mobile telephony in Latin America: New opportunities to reduce poverty?, In: 14th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 20086pp. 3551-3560

    The strong pattern of inequality that marks Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is repeated, although with different characteristics, in access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). Although it is not currently possible to demonstrate empirically, in great detail, that mobile telephony is making a substantive contribution to poverty reduction in LAC, we aim to shed light on certain areas. First, we argue that mobile telephony penetration has been significantly higher than that of other ICTs among the poorest sectors of the population. Second, by constructing Gini indexes of phone access, data show that the distribution of mobile telephony is consistently more equitable than that of landlines in LAC. Third, the high degree of mobile telephone penetration in poor sectors sparks new implications about possible strategies and tools for promoting other ICTs, which have had comparatively less impact so far. We seek then to contribute to the discussion on design -or redesign- of public policies that focus on development through the use of ICTs in the region.

    A Cordella, CM Bonina (2012)A public value perspective for ICT enabled public sector reforms: A theoretical reflection, In: Government Information Quarterly29pp. 512-520

    The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical discussion of information system adoption in the public sector (often referred to as e-government) and to contribute to the debate by offering a public value perspective. The paper points to the public value paradigm as an alternative approach to studying ICT-enabled public sector reforms. This paradigm, we argue, proposes an alternative way of framing the nature of the problems faced when ICT enabled public sector reforms are initiated and studied. The public value perspective proposes a new and richer context in which to study and research these phenomena. It also calls for the redefinition of the ways we assess e-government in the context of public sector reforms. It is therefore seen as vital to evaluate the socio-political impact of ICT adoption in the public sector. © 2012.

    Chrisanthi Avgerou, Carla M. Bonina (2020)Ideologies implicated in IT innovation in government: a critical discourse analysis of Mexico’s international trade administration, In: Information Systems Journal30(1)pp. 70-95 Wiley

    We develop a perspective of IT innovation in the public sector as a process that involves three complementary areas of ideology and concomitant dispute. First, the widespread view of e-government as a transformative force that leads to major improvements of public sector functions for the benefit of society at large. Second, ideologies concerning the substantive policies enacted by public sector organizations. Third, ideology regarding public sector modernization. Our research examines how the objectives of IT projects and their actual effects in government are influenced by such ideologies and contestations that surround them. We develop our theoretical contribution with a critical discourse analysis that traces the ideological underpinnings of two consecutive IT projects for the administration of international trade in Mexico. This analysis associates the objectives of the IT projects with the emergence and ensuing contestation in Mexican politics of two ideologies: the first ideology concerns free international trade as imperative for economic development; the second ideology concerns public sector modernization which sought to overcome historically formed dysfunctionalities of public administration bureaucracies by adopting management practices from the private sector. The analysis then identifies the effects of the ideologically shaped IT projects on two key values of public administration, efficiency and legality. The insights of this research on the role of ideology in IT innovation complement organizational perspectives of e-government; socio-cognitive perspectives that focus on ideas and meaning, such as technology frames and organizing visions; and perspectives that focus on politics in IT innovation.

    Carla Bonina, Fabrizio Scrollini (2020)Governing Open Health Data in Latin America, In: Making Open Development Inclusivepp. 291-316 MIT Press

    Civil society and governments around the world have recognized the potential developmental benefits that data released in open format could bring to the Global South. This open data, released in digital format, publicly available for anyone to use—promise to contribute to global development goals, such as economic growth, job creation, social and economic inclusion, and access to public services such as healthcare. Although emergent, there is growing evidence that in the right circumstances, open data could contribute to these goals (see Verhulst and Young 2016, as well as chapter 10 in this volume). Despite the potential, there is also a body of literature suggesting that most open data initiatives are not having the desired impact, particularly in the Global South, for a variety of reasons. These include poor-quality or incomplete data, data in hard-to-use formats, and a mismatch between the data that are published and the data that are actually needed (World Wide Web Foundation 2017). Thus, it is becoming paramount to understand how to improve the connection between making the data available, sharing it, and fostering the actual uptake of open data to solve developmental problems. Recent evidence has shown that the governance relationship is an important factor in this equation. For example, in a review of twenty-three digital monitoring platforms of public services, Peixoto and Fox (2016) show that the existence of institutional arrangements increases the use and responsiveness of these initiatives. While valuable, these studies show broad patterns of the overall picture. In this chapter, we aim to delve into these patterns in detail.

    Philip Jackson, Mark D Plumbley, Wenwu Wang, Tim Brookes, Philip Coleman, Russell Mason, David Frohlich, Carla Bonina, David Plans (2017)Signal Processing, Psychoacoustic Engineering and Digital Worlds: Interdisciplinary Audio Research at the University of Surrey

    At the University of Surrey (Guildford, UK), we have brought together research groups in different disciplines, with a shared interest in audio, to work on a range of collaborative research projects. In the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) we focus on technologies for machine perception of audio scenes; in the Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR) we focus on research into human perception of audio quality; the Digital World Research Centre (DWRC) focusses on the design of digital technologies; while the Centre for Digital Economy (CoDE) focusses on new business models enabled by digital technology. This interdisciplinary view, across different traditional academic departments and faculties, allows us to undertake projects which would be impossible for a single research group. In this poster we will present an overview of some of these interdisciplinary projects, including projects in spatial audio, sound scene and event analysis, and creative commons audio.

    CARLA BONINA, Kari Koskinen, Ben Eaton, ANNABELLE REINA GAWER (2021)Digital Platforms for Development: Foundations and Research Agenda, In: Information Systems Journal

    Digital platforms hold a central position in today's world economy and are said to offer a great potential for the economies and societies in the global South. Yet, to date, the scholarly literature on digital platforms has largely concentrated on business while their developmental implications remain understudied. In part, this is because digital platforms are a challenging research object due to their lack of conceptual definition, their spread across different regions and industries, and their intertwined nature with institutions, actors and digital technologies. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing debate in information systems and ICT4D research to understand what digital platforms mean for development. To do so, we first define what digital platforms are and differentiate between transaction and innovation platforms, and explain their key characteristics in terms of purpose, research foundations, material properties and business models. We add the socio-technical context digital platforms operate and the linkages to developmental outcomes. We then conduct an extensive review to explore what current areas, developmental goals, tensions and issues emerge in the literature on platforms and development and identify relevant gaps in our knowledge. Based on our findings, we elaborate on six research questions to advance the studies on digital platforms for development as follows: on indigenous innovation, digital platforms and institutions, on exacerbation of inequalities, on alternative forms of value, on the dark side of platforms and on the applicability of the platform typology for development. 2

    Carla Bonina, David Lopez Berzosa, Mariarosa Scarlata (2020)Social, Commercial, or both? A quantitative study of the identity orientation of digital social innovations, In: Information Systems Journal Wiley

    The information systems literature has studied digital innovation extensively and focused primarily on its commercial related objectives. Yet, digital social innovations seek to solve social problems, while implementing commercially viable approaches. Drawing from the social entrepreneurship literature and using computational social science methods, we identify the peculiar utilitarian (commercial) and collectivistic (social) identity orientations that shape digital social innovation (DSI). We use a sample of 292 DSI initiatives from Latin America and find that DSIs present both utilitarian and collectivist identity orientation. We also find that the collectivistic identity orientation tends to be more salient in less developed contexts. This allows us to discuss implications for the research on digital social innovation and to open up a discussion on the role of context and possible tensions that may emerge in combining both identity orientations.

    J. Gurin, C. Bonina, S. Verhulst (2019)Open Data Stakeholders - Private Sector, In: T. Davies, S. Walker, M. Rubinstein, F. Perini (eds.), The State of Open Data: Histories and Horizonspp. 418-429 African Minds and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
    AK Martin, C Bonina (2014)Open government and citizen identities: promise, peril and policy, In: ML Smith, KMA Reilly (eds.), Open Development: Networked Innovations in International Development(9) MIT Press
    Carla Bonina, Ben Eaton (2020)Cultivating Open Government Data Platform Ecosystems through Governance: Lessons from Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Montevideo, In: Government Information Quarterly37101479 Elsevier

    Open government data (OGD) initiatives are an emergent platform research topic. There is little under-standing how these platforms are governed for the innovation of services using open data, where the cultivation of an installed base of heterogeneous service innovators can lead to increased usage of OGD. In this paper, we draw on established literature from digital platforms research to investigate how service innovation is cultivated in open government data contexts. We employ a comparative case study of open government data platforms in three leading Latin American cities and draw upon the concept of bound-ary resources taken from platform theory. Our research generates two key contributions. First, we pro-pose a theoretical model, which explains how an OGD platform owner is able to govern the demand and the supply side of its platform to facilitate the cultivation of a platform ecosystem. Second, we develop contributions to practice in terms of a set of recommendations for governments in emerging countries concerning how to establish and manage a vibrant OGD platform ecosystem.

    Kari Koskinen, Carla Bonina, Ben Eaton (2019)Digital Platforms in the Global South: Foundations and Research Agenda, In: P. Nielsen, H. Kimaro (eds.), Cell Culture Techniques551pp. 319-330 Springer, Cham

    Digital platforms have become integral to many of the everyday activities that people across the globe encounter in areas like transportation, commerce and social interactions. Research on the topic has largely concentrated on the general functioning of these platforms in terms of platform governance, business strategies and consumer behaviour. Despite their significant presence in the global South, the developmental implications of digital platforms remain largely understudied. In part, this is because digital platforms are a challenging research object due to their lack of conceptual definition, their spread across different regions and industries, and their intertwined nature with institutions, actors and digital technologies. The aim of this paper is therefore twofold: to provide a conceptual definition of digital platforms, and to identify research strands in international development contexts. To do so, we draw from digital platforms literature, differentiate between transaction and innovation platforms and expose their main characteristics. We the present four strands in the form of research questions, illustrated with concrete examples, that can assist to pursue relevant studies on digital platforms and international development in the future.

    Additional publications