Dr. Shefali Virkar
Building D2, Entrance E, Level 1, Room 1.328
+43/1/31336 - 6860
Shefali Virkar is an assistant professor at the Institute for Public Management and Governance at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien). Shefali specialises in the theory and practice of digital government, with a specific focus on the applications of disruptive artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies and their responsible and ethical use in the public sector. In particular, her research explores the potential of disruptive AI to facilitate access to data and information, and to support decision making leading to better governance and social justice.
Shefali joined the WU from the Department for E-Governance and Development, University for Continuing Education Krems (Austria), where her research as a Senior Research Fellow focused on the political and socio-economic implications of digital technologies and related applications in the public sector, and how these developments affect traditional governance structures and practices. Shefali possesses over 10 years of international research experience, significant teaching experience, and a portfolio of high-quality publications. She has actively participated in funded projects targeted at developing innovative digital solutions for the public sector in partnership with European, national, and local government authorities. She is an integral part of the international community of digital government scholars and practitioners, and currently holds memberships of relevant professional associations, and guest editorships of key journals. She is also closely involved with the organisation of major international conferences in the field.
Shefali holds a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in Politics from the University of Oxford (U.K.). Her doctoral thesis focused on the impact of the perceptions and behaviour of political actors involved with strategic ICT projects on the ultimate outcome of such initiatives, through an in-depth analysis of a case study based in India. At Oxford, she also worked on funded research projects related to Web Search, Participatory Democracy in Local Government, Social and New Media, and European Unemployment Policy that have drawn from cases within the United Kingdom and across the European Union. Prior to joining Oxford, Shefali obtained an M.A. in Globalisation and Development from the University of Warwick (U.K.).
Shefali’s research interests include Artificial Intelligence in the public sector, digital government, digital transformation of the public sector, technology acceptance, co-creation of public services, decision support systems. Her work to date can be broadly clustered into four categories:
Public Sector Use of Data and Algorithms: examining how data-driven technologies are shaping public services, and the approaches taken to ensure public-sector algorithm accountability.
Public Sector Innovation: investigating innovative technology-driven approaches to designing, delivering and monitoring the performance of public services.
Human Centric Approaches to Digital Transformation: developing a critical understanding of the interactions between the people who design, implement, use and depend upon digital technologies in public sector contexts.
Sustainability of Digital Innovations: exploring the factors associated with the long-term sustainability of technology-driven innovations in the public sector.