On this page you’ll find an overview of the individual researches done by each of the five researchers of the ICT4Uganda team.
Individual Research Proposals
Kai Henriquez: Development Cooperation 2.0
Kai wil be researching the use of ICT from the NGO’s perspective. He will be focussing on the challenges and opportunities with ICT and New Media for NGO’s and CBO’s (Community Based Organizations) within the international development sector. In Amsterdam he is conducting his research from the 1%CLUB, which is an NGO that provides an online platform where small development projects setup by individuals can receive donations and knowledge from users willing to donate.
Here you can find his Thesis Proposal.
Here you can find the full version of the final research report for the 1%CLUB
Wouter Dijkstra: Political Activism and Social Movements (ICT4Accountability)
Connections give people the opportunity to organize; New ICT’s give people a new way to connect. A better informed and organized civil society can overcome great political challenges in the weak and corrupt democracies of a lot of African countries. Communication over long distance is new for most people on the African continent and is opening up new opportunities to organize from the bottom up. Grassroots organizations, stimulated trough NGO’s or not, are using new media in several ways. The focus of this research lies on the potential emmancipating power new media technologies have on civil society in Uganda. This research will find out how the people of Uganda can hold their leaders accountable for mismanagement and corruption. Established political powers are stimulating the ICT market for the revenues it could generate trough business outsourcing; at the same time, these leaders are cautious because the new ICT’s may undermine their hegemony. This individual Thesis will focus on the emergence of new media as an organizational tool to empower people into more active and contributing political roles.
Ben White: ICT as an agent for Entrepreneurship
To what extent does the African entrepreneur use ICTs as a business tool? Through the perspective of the entrepreneur, what is the relationship with ICTs and how have these new media tools become embedded in the business process? What are the social changes given their implementation and use of new ICTs and what might be the role of ICTs in the coming years?
Knowledge is power. Information and data are the tools needed to navigate today’s increasingly complex and globally linked marketplace. Unfortunately, Africa’s entrepreneur remains relatively unconnected when compared to other parts of the world. At the same time, their social and economic contribution is often underestimated by government bodies, banks, investors, equity partners, and related institutions that could otherwise assist them in the development of their business. In this context the African entrepreneur is left to navigate alone.
At the same time, Entrepreneurs are increasingly recognized as an important key to economic development. An increasing body of research argues that entrepreneurs, and their small to medium size enterprises, hold great potential for the continent’s development. Entrepreneurs are vital to building a healthy and stable society. They help to create an important middle class and are an invaluable source of jobs, tax revenue, foreign currency and a number of tertiary benefits.
The aim of the ICT for Entrepreneurship project is to map out the ICTs currently present in both urban and rural settings (in so far that they are related to entrepreneurship). The aim is to track their emergence and current status in society and to better understand the power of ICTs in collecting, organizing and distributing data and information. In building this framework, the relevant stakeholders, their interest and contribution to the development and use of ICTs for entrepreneurship will be taken into consideration.
In short, the aim of the project is to build an improved understanding of how the African entrepreneur can leverage ICTs to further their own livelihood.
Keywords: ICT, Information, Connections, Mobility, Nomad, Mobile, Internet, Developer, Entrepreneur, SME, Micro credit, Banking
Guido van Diepen:: Internet Use in the Informal Sphere
In what ways do the civilians of Uganda make use of Internet in the informal sphere? What are their social and economic motivations and how do they pursue their purposes?
In Africa, people spent most of their time on the streets with the people physically surrounding them. The emergence of new media with their opportunities, have had a huge influence on African social life. Technologies like the radio, mobile phones and Internet made relations become increasingly intense and intertwined. More and more information becomes accessible and is shared, mobility increases and time is used differently.
Locally this has an impact within the culture, but it also opens up the communication boundaries with the rest of the world. The lack of infra-structure for a long time prevented local communities from having contact with the ‘outside world’. It is therefore important to understand what these new forms of communication mean and do.
By looking solely at the formal sphere, a large part of African society is overlooked. It is therefore important to include the interests of the ‘people on the street’. This group will be narrowed down to their use of the Internet in the informal sphere. The informal sphere represents an area where people’s real needs and wishes are exposed, more than in official settings. Therefore it gives more insight in what to expect when internet use increases. By looking into the digital world and thus at the communication among Ugandan civilians and their communication with the ‘outside world’, we can learn a lot about the changing relations within Uganda and with the rest of the world.