Technology for Community Empowerment


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Slides presented at NMMU in Port Elizabeth, 19 March 2009. We discuss how we are using technology to empower communities in tension

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Technology for Community Empowerment

  1. 1. Technology to reconstruct Communities in Tension (CiT) Marlon Parker Wesley Nitsckie “ Passionate about reconstructing communities”
  2. 2. Reconstructing Communities
  3. 3. Community in Tension (CiT) <ul><li>CiT is a Community where the wellbeing </li></ul><ul><li>of citizens is threatened </li></ul>
  4. 4. Technology to reconstruct Communities
  5. 5. Proposed solution <ul><li>Universities can play an important and leading role in addressing problems that negatively impact the wellbeing of communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Often ICT solutions are developed based on perceived anticipated needs without sufficiently considering the continuing actual-use-in-practice – Is the solution usable and useful for the user? Is it sustainable? </li></ul><ul><li>This can be best achieved if a collaborative approach is used involving reseachers, students, citizens and other stakeholders from the onset where citizens become co-developers of the ICT solution. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Project Focus <ul><li>ICT Solution to facilitate the: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>care of citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dissemination of information, e.g., to inform citizens about the problems, their consequences and preventative mechanisms; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>education of citizens, e.g., train citizens specific skills etc. </li></ul></ul>Care Inform Educate Social Innovation Empowerment
  7. 7. Living Lab <ul><li>A Living Lab is a user-centric research methodology for sensing, prototyping, validating and refining complex solutions in multiple and evolving real life contexts. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a human-centric Research and Development approach to ICT solutions and innovations </li></ul>
  8. 8. Interaction Space University Community Incubation Space Community Development Space Socio-Techno “ Bridge”
  9. 9. Athlone Living Lab
  10. 10. Collaborative Network
  11. 11. Advice Support Network
  12. 12. Face to Face Counseling
  13. 13. Help Line Counseling
  14. 14. Advice Support Network
  15. 15. Drug Advice Support (DAS) <ul><li>Endorsed by National Government </li></ul><ul><li>Trained Advisors </li></ul><ul><li>+- 5000 subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>Tuesday and Thursday, 3pm – 5pm </li></ul><ul><li>+- 300 conversations per session </li></ul><ul><li>More than 16 000 conversations </li></ul><ul><li>80 000+ messages </li></ul>
  16. 16. Positive Advice Support (PAS) <ul><li>Strong link between HIV and Substance Abuse </li></ul><ul><li>HIV and AIDS advice using mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>Possibility of national service </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration with Cell-Life </li></ul>
  17. 17. Career Advice Support (CAS) <ul><li>Emerged through conversations with youth over DAS </li></ul><ul><li>Currently very few places on the Cape Flats where youth can go for Career Advice and Support </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Opportunities </li></ul>
  18. 19. Find Your Angel <ul><li>24Hour service on MXit where information is available about Substance Abuse, HIV, Stress, Abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Concept is to Find Your Angel who is the contact where you can acquire help with the social problem </li></ul>
  19. 20. Challenges <ul><li>Buy in from the communities </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for projects </li></ul><ul><li>Protecting the Collaboration Space </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability plan </li></ul>
  20. 21. Conclusion <ul><li>Technology allows opportunities for empowerment and social innovation when used appropriately in context </li></ul><ul><li>If innovative solutions are successfully adopted and co-developed by the communities they could continue using it </li></ul><ul><li>The impact of the project should result in an improvement in a community’s wellbeing </li></ul>
  21. 22. Thank You / [email_address] Marlon Parker @ marlonparker marlonct +2721 469 1138 +2721 637 4037 +2776 4034920