Welcome to the UCT Centre for ICT4D!
The Centre serves as a focal point for researchers who wish to create Information and Communication Technologies that address problems in the African Continent and other developing regions.
We are a multi-disciplinary Centre that seeks to create new technologies for the developing world, as well as study the impacts of existing technology.
If you are considering an masters or doctorate in ICT4D then consider studying with us for some, or all, of your degree. We also have full PhD bursaries for Africans wishing to study a doctorate in ICT4D.
Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD2013) Cape Town, South Africa
Conference dates: December 7-10, 2013
Paper submission deadline: May 1, 2013 (11:59pm UTC)
Conference website: http://www.ictd2013.info
Follow or visit at: Twitter @ICTD2013
Note - new for 2013, there will be two kinds of manuscripts accepted into the ICTD program track: Full Papers and Notes.
Conference and Program Overview
Held in cooperation with ACM SIGCHI and ACM SIGCAS, ICTD2013 will provide an international forum for scholarly researchers exploring the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in social, political, and economic development.
Hosted by the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa, ICTD2013 is the sixth of an ongoing series of conferences occurring every one-and-a-half years; previous conferences have taken place in: Berkeley, CA (USA) ICTD 2006; Bangalore (India) ICTD 2007; Doha (Qatar) ICTD 2009; London (United Kingdom) ICTD 2010, and Atlanta, GA (USA) ICTD 2012.
Over decades, as radio and television have been joined by computers, the internet, and mobile devices, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become more pervasive, more accessible, and more relevant in the lives of people around the world. Virtually no sphere of human activity remains apart from ICTs, from markets to health care, education to governance, family life to artistic expression. Diverse groups across the world interact with, are affected by, and can shape the design of these technologies. The ICTD conference is a place to understand these interactions, and to examine, critique, and refine the persistent, pervasive hope that ICTs can be enlisted by individuals and communities in the service of human development. There are multidisciplinary challenges associated with the engineering, application and adoption of ICTs in developing regions and/or for development, with implications for design, policy, and practice.
For the purposes of this conference, the term "ICT" comprises electronic technologies for information processing and communication, as well as systems, interventions, and platforms that are built on such technologies. "Development" includes, but is not restricted to, poverty alleviation, education, agriculture, healthcare, general communication, gender equality, governance, infrastructure, environment and sustainable livelihoods. The conference program will reflect the multidisciplinary nature of ICTD research, with anticipated contributions from fields including anthropology, computer science, communication, design, economics, electrical engineering, geography, human-computer interaction, information science, information systems, political science, public health, and sociology.
In addition to inviting the Full Papers and Notes detailed here, the conference will offer a variety of opportunities for participation, including open sessions, pre-workshops, and demos. Check our website for further calls.
- Monday, 21 January 2013
Muthoni Masinde who was a member of the the UCT's Centre for ICT4D until December 2012, graduated with a Doctorate Degree on December 17 2012. Muthoni's was one the HPI Scholarship beneficiaries.
Muthoni's research was motivated by the fact that utilisation of scientific drought forecasts among the small scale farmers in Africa was still very poor and that the farmers still preferred to consult their indigenous knowledge (IK). Further, there was evidence that IK was under serious threat from events such as climate change and ‘modernisation’. Driven by the hypothesis that incorporating IK into the scientific drought forecasts improves the latter’s relevance (both locally and culturally) and acceptability among the small-scale farmers, Muthoni's thesis looks at how computer science tools could accelerate this integration. A novel bridge dubbed ITIKI (Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge with Intelligence) that is realised in form of a drought early warning system is devised. To tackle the diverse characteristics of this bridge, three ICTs are employed: (1) mobile phones to harness the indigenous knowledge and disseminate drought forecasts; (2) sensor-based weather stations to complement the sparse network of weather stations; and (3) artificial intelligence for monitoring and predicting droughts. The prototype was deployed and tested in two locations in Keny
Read more here
Involving Users in Design
Designing for users in the developing world is no easy task: after all, there is a digital divide between designers and users in the developing world. Additionally, designers and users in the developing world, especially users in rural areas, live in vastly different contexts.