Design Science Research and Activity Theory in ICT4D: Developing a Socially Relevant ICT Platform for Elderly Women in Remote Rural South Africa

Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 504)

Abstract

ICT4D projects in rural communities face many challenges to successful execution. These include the development of an ICT artifact which is suited to the needs of a specific community, as well as a complex socio-cultural context which can have unexpected impacts on an ICT4D project. In Mafarafara, a remote rural community in South Africa’s Limpopo province, researchers who were using a Design Science Research framework to guide the development of an ICT platform recognized the importance and potential impact of unvoiced social and political issues. Managing these dynamics are important for not only a better understanding of the community, but also for the success and sustainability of the project. Activity theory is used to complement the DSRM to make these social aspects visible, thus contributing to the success of the project. Two examples of the socio-political dynamics are described using the activity theory concepts of tension and hierarchical activity.

Keywords

Design science research Activity theory ICT4D South africa Rural women Empowerment 

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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIR Meraka InstitutePretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of InformaticsUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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