Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (session 1)

Just a couple of words before highlighting the presentations during the first session of the Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium organized by the ICT4D Collective at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The effort done by the ICT4D Collective is impressive: the idea of organizing this first edition of the symposium is only equaled by the massive response of attendants (I counted 33 people in total), coming from (almost) all over the world (I mean it) and many and one disciplines (most interesting part, no doubt). Personal thanks go to Tim Unwin, Marije Geldof and all of the other collective members.

First session took place in Egham, September 14th, 2006, morning. Here come the notes I took on the fly:


Isabella Rega, University of Lugano
Telecentres and Social Meanings: a South Africa case study

The (main) hypothesis of the research is whether the social meaning which a community gives to a telecentre strogly affect its (not-) use and the socioeconomic impact of the telecentre in the community.

Infomobilisation (similar concept — if not same — as informational literacy): “helping the community to understand and express its information needs and showing people how they can reach this information through new technologies”

Social meaning: difference on what the (telecenter) designer thinks of a service and what the community that will use thinks of it: same telecenter designed by person in i.e. NYC than the one designed by its user in rural Africa?


Elfneh Bariso, AHEAD/IOE
The Digital Dividend in an Ethiopian context: Ahead’s plan 4 a community college

[disclaimer: actually not a PhD research, but an ongoing project:]

Awareness of importance of Health and information about Health.

Technological divide (in Ethiopia): (almost) no computers, (almost) no TVs, lotta radio sets.

Why optimism about digital dividend?

  • Popular demand
  • Government policies
  • Global support
  • Technological capabilities
  • Success stories:
  • * Imfundo
    * Hole in the wall

Technorealist, no technooptimist, no luddite.


Kutoma Jacqueline Wakunuma
Kutoma Jacqueline Wakunuma during her presentation
… and me blogging the event.


Andrew Babson, University of Michigan
Literacy through multimedia in rural, multilingual communities: Bridges to the Future Initiative, South Africa

Research the potential success of multimedia ICT applications for teaching multiple languages:

  • Test the application
  • Test what’s the oppinion of the user of learning languages through ICT applications.

Main preliminary conclusoin: Education generally and/or English and/or computers is seen as an opportunity, so it encourages students to keep on learning.


Kutoma Jacqueline Wakunuma, Coventry University
Is Socio-Economic Development and Empowerment a Reality – A Gendered Zambian Case Study

Main axe: Gender equality empowerment of women. Thus, how gender is implicated in different experiences of women & men in relation to access & use of ICTs and see which they believe are most effective.

Main conluding perspective: Mobile phones seem more relevant than the Internet.



First Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2006)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2006) “Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (session 1)” In ICTlogy, #36, September 2006. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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