ICT4D HCI Guidelines: A study for Developing Countries
(Steyn, J., Van Greunen, D. (Eds). (2014). ICTs for inclusive communities in developing societies. Proceedings of the 8th International Development Informatics Association Conference, held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. ISBN: 978-0-620-63498-4 Pages 189-205)
This paper presents a set of research-based Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) guidelines for developing countries. The proposed guidelines were developed under the umbrella of the Fraunhofer AICOS (FhP) ICT4D Competence Center (ICT4DCC). The ICT4DCC follows a collaborative model known as ‘Interface Institute’ and aims to develop ICT solutions through partnerships between scientific and industry institutions from Europe and developing African countries. By exploiting this collaborative environment, we aim to validate and refine the guidelines by applying them in products targeted at developing countries users. To this end, two of the ICT4DCC partners, the Nelson Mandela MetropolitanUniversity (NMMU) and Eduardo Mondlane University Informatics (CIUEM) are collaborating on the design and development of a mobile application for hydroponic farming following a User- Centered Design (UCD) approach. Insights from a usability evaluation of a functional prototype conducted with the intended users in South Africa were used to validated the guidelines. Further more, highlights on how the model implemented by the ICT4DCC can be a privileged medium to better serve the potential users through the implementation of these guidelines.
Malaria Scope’s User Interface Usability Tests: Results Comparison between European and African Users
Presented in: AFRICOMM 2014, 6th International Conference on e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries, held on 24-25 November, 2014 - Kampala, Uganda
Malaria is one of the most severe public health problems worldwide. It is estimated that 3.3 billion people live in areas at risk of malaria transmission, and in 2010 caused around 655,000 deaths, 91% of them in the African Region. In this study we assess if the mHealth application “MalariaScope” developed by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS (FhP AICOS) found to be usable and satisfactory by users from a European country, Portugal, can achieve similar positive results in an African country, Mozambique, which is one of its intended contexts of use. To this end, an academic partner from that African country conducted locally a usability evaluation of the application following the same procedure with participants with similar scientific backgrounds to the Portuguese counterparts. A comparison of the usability metrics of the two evaluations found no significant differences between the Portuguese and Mozambican set of users.
Framework for Offline Mobile Data Communications
2014 Tech4Dev International Conference
The African mobile market is the fastest growing mobile market worldwide, and prices for related technologies, including smartphones, are falling rapidly. The number of mobile device users is growing so fast that there are predictions that those countries will miss the PC era and will accomplish all their needs through smartphones and alike. Many people have adopted mobile phones for daily tasks, which range from basic communication with relatives to small family business support, either for communicating with customers or receiving service requests. However, missing or intermittent network coverage and low available bandwidth still pose serious barriers to mobile applications which rely on the Internet, especially in rural areas. Additionally, even though mobile phones and even smartphones entry prices are quickly falling, shared phone usage in developing countries remains a very common reality.
Automatic Detection of Malaria Parasites in Thick Blood Smears Using Smartphones
Presented in: UNESCO Chair in Technologies for Development: What is Essential? held in 4-6 June, 2014 - EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland [TH2-SE02-09]
Malaria is one of the most severe public health problems worldwide. It is a leading cause of death and disease in many developing countries, where young children and pregnant women are the groups most affected. It’s estimated that 3.3 billion people (half the world’s population) live in areas at risk of malaria transmission, and in 2010 caused around 655,000 deaths, 91% of them in the African Region 1. Thus, there is an urgent need of new tools that can facilitate the rapid and easy diagnosis of malaria, especially in areas with limited access to quality healthcare services. This work aims to create a mobile-based solution that can provide an effective pre-diagnosis of malaria to be used in medically underserved areas. It is intend to use the new generation of cellular phones in the system architecture, which exhibit significant improvements in terms of image acquisition and image processing and that are becoming widespread worldwide, even in developing countries, and to create a magnification gadget that can be connected to the smartphone and provide the necessary magnification capability.
Mobile and Health system challenges in Sub-Sahara countries
Presented in: Simpósio em ENGENHARIA BIOMÉDICA
Health systems in low and middle income countries continue to face considerable challenges in providing high-quality, affordable and universally accessible care. To face these problems, healthcare practices supported by electronic processes and communications started to be implemented in what can be enlightened as a context-specific, politically-aware and socially sensitive eHealth. The incorporation of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) is showing promising results, leading to more equitable health outcomes, improved health equity and stronger health systems. Overall, mHealth innovative approaches aim to eliminate the geographic and financial barriers to healthcare in developing countries (Ruxwana, Herselman, & Conradie, 2010).
Innovation in Digital Street Libraries to Enhance Social Development and Cultural Cooperation
Presented in: Simpósio Inovação em Engenharia na Cooperação para o Desenvolvimento
Africa has rich and diverse cultural traditions, but artists and cultural entrepreneurs have limited means to disseminate and distribute their cultural materials. For example, Mozambique has a vibrant film industry, but there are limited places to screen films. Also in Mozambique, the number of book publishers has decreased from over 50 to 15, making access to printed books more difficult. In Ghana, as part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy [IMF, 2012], the government recognized the need for increased means of distribution of arts by agreeing to create avenues for distribution of art, exhibitions, and live performances. The Ghana Book Trust developed a book distribution program in order to promote a greater access to books and culture. In Cameroon, artists may receive support for performances from the government, and UNESCO is funding projects to catalogue audio-visual materials. In Liberia, artists have expressed the need for more means of distributing cultural materials as well as more government/sponsor support. However, more than 45% of youth are estimated to be illiterate. Sabre, an international NGO, managed a book distribution in Liberia, but the NGO recently discontinued this program worldwide. Even in countries where the government or sponsors provide support for exhibitions or performances, the events happen for a short period of time and are often not accessible to people living in rural areas.