Consequences of Mobile ICT4D Constraints

A Research Study on Information and Communication Technologies for Development: Mobile Phones & Empowerment

The past two years I worked on my Master’s Thesis which was part of our ICT4DMZ project in Mozambique. I had the pleasure to work with local students and develop an Android application with them. FindUEM is an application which helps students to find PIOs (Point of Interest) at their campus, you can download it from the Play Store. During my stay I conducted my research on if this Android application is usable by the students. Not in terms of usability, but rather if they have access to the technology. So I conducted a survey regarding students’ mobile hardware and on how they use their phones. Back then, only one third was capable of using the Android application regarding hardware and Internet connectivity. So I started to develop a concept of a SMS based FindUEM, which grants access to everyone in possession of a mobile phone. During my research SMSSync was published, which does similar a things and underlines the importance of my research. Out of 451 students, only one did not have a mobile phone. This shows once again the exceptional potential of mobile hardware in the field of ICT4D. My work got recently published as a book and you can buy it here. If you want to know me about this topic, then do not hesitate to drop me a mail or comment below.

The abstract

This book analyses and challenges the fast and dynamic movement of new mobile technologies, particularly in developing countries like Mozambique. The work places itself in the research field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development. The focus lies in the context of mobile technologies in developing countries and on how people can access information on these devices properly. An Android prototype application designed to navigate people around the campus was developed in a lecture with Mozambican students at the Maputo Universidade Eduardo Mondlane. A survey carried out as part of the research indicated that the Android application is not accessible to certain students due to a lack of technology and connectivity. Therefore, an alternative SMS based interface is introduced to meet the criteria of Human Computer Interaction for Development and Universal Design. The new solution uses already existing and cheap infrastructure, focuses on low-end hardware, works along with future-proof alternatives and does, in comparison with the Android application, not exclude potential users.


Book Cover - Consequences of Mobile ICT4D Constraints – a Case Study of Mozambique

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Consequences of Mobile ICT4D Constraints
was published on 25.03.2017 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under east africa, sub saharan africa
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ICT4D sessions at CHI 2010

Thomas Smyth and others have shared some very valuable compilations of ICT4D-related sessions that will be held at CHI 2010, which starts tomorrow. Below is an edited summary of the events. If you are interested in HCI-related announcements and discussions, join the HCI4D Google group.

11:30-13:00 Panel: Addressing Challenges in Doing International Field Research

9:00-10:30 HCI and India session, with three HCI4D papers, including one best paper
11:30-13:00 Panel: Computing Technology in International Development
14:30-16:00 Crisis Informatics with papers on Liberia and Iraq
16:30-18:00 HCI for All session with a very interesting paper on Post-colonial computing

9:00-10:30 Storytelling session with some work from Gary Marsden‘s group; also the Social Impact Award session
14:30-16:00 Medical data session with a paper on health and persuasion (also a best paper); also Imagine all the people alt.chi session with paper on Rwanda
16:30-18:00 HCI, Communities, and Politics panel, which is not specific to HCI4D, but very relevant

14:30-16:00 HCI and the Developing World session

11.30-14.30 GVU research showcase in the Technology Square Research Building, demonstrating work by the Technologies and International Development lab

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ICT4D sessions at CHI 2010
was published on 09.04.2010 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under global
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