My name's Vivienne and I am relatively new to this forum, thought I'd
introduce myself. I am a finalist at the University of London, reading for a
BSc Geography, majoring in development studies. I wrote my thesis on gender
issues amongst refugees in Nairobi and most of my work has been on gender,
education and microenterprise.
I'm definitely not an expert in the FOSS field the way most of you are (I
have been reading all the emails that get sent round and it usually takes me
2-3 hours to do some background reading just to understand half of what is
written!) but am eager to learn as much as possible!
One of my courses this year is about Information and Communication
Technologies used in development practice. Our lecturer, Prof. Tim Unwin, is
a very engaging type of guy and has us doing lots of different things for
the course (thankfully it's not all essay-based!). My own areas of research
this semester include [very broad topics!]:
-Investigating the potential of VoIP in development practice (I'm a big fan
-The pros and cons of using FOSS in schools in eastern and southern Africa
(most relevant to this discussion forum);
-The use of SMS technology in farming/agriculture (this is because when I
did some field work in NW Kenya, I learnt that since the advent of cell
phones, farmers could text friends in Nairobi to get the market price for
their crops, and not get ripped off by middlemen who came to take their
crops down to the capital);
-ICTs in rural extension.
The last one is the 'biggest' piece of work - along with 4 other students, I
am putting together a website that will be for other students (high school
and university levels) to use as a resource centre on the use of ICTs in
rural extension. We are focusing mainly on radio, SMS and telephone
technology, although we will also consider other technologies.
[If you have any good articles/documents or examples on any of my research
areas, they would be most welcome and appreciated!].
Looking forward to the discussions on this forum!
ICT4D website and course outline:
ICT4D Discussion forum:
http://discussion.rhul.ac.uk/ for the general RHUL forum; and
6ba0f134 for the Geography/ICT4D forum.
Royal Holloway University of London, Geography department:
Rural Extension: ICTs used in rural extension [**WORK IN PROGRESS!**]