The Computer Science department offers CSC5026Z: Intro to ICT4D as an introduction to theory and practice in the field of information and communications technology for development (ICT4D). It is an essential course for anyone seeking to use information technologies to address inequalities in socio-economic development. This multi-disciplinary class is open to Honours, Masters, and PhD students from any Faculty; in the past we have had students from Commerce, Health Sciences, Humanities, as well as Science. Through this course you will engage with ICT4D theory, case studies of ICT4D practices, as well as a design-thinking-led fieldwork component facilitated by the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking.
Credits: 12 NQF credits at HEQSF level 9
Course Convenor: Melissa Densmore [melissa dot densmore at uct dot ac dot za]
Timetable: Weekly lectures in first semester
Course outline: The goal is for you to understand basic ideas underlying ICT4D and how they are used in practice. You will learn about and critically evaluate ICT4D projects. You will learn how to design and evaluate development-oriented computing projects. Course Content: Introduction to key terminology around socio-economic development; Key concepts in ICT4D (e.g. social inclusion, after access); Case studies in specific domains, including healthcare, agriculture, mobile money, education, etc.; Critical evaluation of ICT4D projects.
DP requirements: None
Assessment: Practical assignments: 80%; Case Study Presentation: 10%; Class Participation: 10%
Dinno Bossi, Tristan Drummand and Juliet Magagula consider the role of stakeholders in ICT4D implementations. March 2020.Photo: Hafeni Mthoko
In 2020 the course took place via remote learning, including the fieldwork component. Despite the unusual format, our online engagements were vibrant and participatory, including both the discussion of theoretical material, and a class project themed around the use of cloth masks in the pandemic. Students interviewed and tested prototypes with members of the community remotely, producing innovative project concepts, including the development of a unified strategy for government communications, and a storybook aimed towards teaching school-age kids how to properly care for and wear cloth masks. We currently have translations in English, isiXhosa, Tshivenda, Afrikaans, and are working to make this available to the public, and in more languages. Despite remote teaching and learning, the students actively engaged with issues of ICT4D and successfully collaborated to produce concepts around the use of ICTs for development.