Knowledge sharing for the rural poor

In recent years, VU researchers have been developing an emergent field of “Computer Science for Development”. Independently, Organization Science researchers have been investigating the social context of “Knowledge Management for Development”. This proposed collaboration brings together the expertise of these two groups, toward the development of a platform for effective curation, creation and sharing of knowledge for the rural poor in developing countries. A mixed-method synthesis of these research efforts will provide new insights in ICT4D in general and CS4D in particular.

Knowledge sharing is a key influence on development of the rural poor, with ICT as a critical enabler, providing for instance critical market data or weather information to sustenance farmers, through low-tech, mobile or radio technologies. However, ICT4D initiatives often remain largely tool-oriented, limiting their scope and relevance to a specific context.

In this project, we take a Linked Data approach, thereby adding a new dimension to ICT4D research and practice. Linked Data allows for flexible, multi-layered knowledge sharing, independent of infrastructure and interfaces. We will generate a flexible platform, based on Linked Data and web standards, enabling researchers in low-tech/lo-fi environments to quickly develop prototype applications that can be tested and deployed in the target areas. This allows for agile development of living labs, toward contextually-tailored information sharing via voice-, web-, or icon-based interfaces. We seek to a) investigate current methods of and approaches to knowledge creation and curation in target communities and b) design and implement a platform that allows for rapid-prototyping of knowledge sharing applications.

This project will be embedded in running research of the established Web for Regreening in Africa (W4RA) alliance. W4RA provides a useful case of sharing pluviometric information, relevant to sustenance farmers in rural Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, and allows for field work and platform testing in the target areas.

For a further description of the project, please visit http://w4ra.org/ or https://www.dropbox.com/s/0rfv25vk9x6led3/%288%29%20NI%20KNAW%202014.pdf?dl=0

Read the report of the 2nd Syposium on ICT for Development (ICT4D 2015) here (PDF).

Read the “Knowledge Sharing for the Rural Poor” BLOG

Live blog feed from the W4RA website

  • Evaluating sustainability of ICT4D services using e3value February 11, 2018
    Anna Bon
  • VU offers elective field-based ICT4D course for master students CS, IS and AI February 2, 2018
    In June 2018 a new elective VU master course “ICT for Development in the Field” will be given for the first time on location, in Sarawak, Malaysia, jointly with the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). The 6 ECTS course is open for master students of Information Sciences, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. ICT4D is the study […]
    Anna Bon
  • 5th International Symposium “Perspectives on ICT4D” January 12, 2018
    – Collocated with the 10th ACM Web Science Conference – The Web is the biggest open public space for information, communication and knowledge sharing for billions on the planet. However, it is not (yet) accessible for over half of the world population, mostly in the Global South. This symposium addresses the ensuing issues, in other […]
    Anna Bon
  • A new “Voice Service Development Kit” by André Baart December 24, 2017
    Building ICTs to connect the unconnected people in e.g. rural Africa, is challenging due to the language and literacy gap. Voice-based ICT systems have proven useful, e.g. for meteo services or market information. However, in general they are much more complicated to build that text-based systems, for ICT and Web developers. To make this easier […]
    Anna Bon
  • Amadou Tangara joins Tree Aid December 24, 2017
    W4RA member Amadou Tangara is now Tree Aid’s Country Manager for Mali. This is what the international NGO Tree Aid wrote about his new position: (on 8 December 2017): “Amadou has long experience of agroforestry projects and was the winner of the African Innovation for a Sustainable Development prize for implementing Radio Marché, a voice-based […]
    Anna Bon

vulogo_sm