UCT CS Research Document Archive

Developing locally relevant software applications for rural areas: A South African example

Chetty, Marshini, William Tucker and Edwin Blake (2004) Developing locally relevant software applications for rural areas: A South African example. In Marsden, Gary and Paula Kotze, Eds. Proceedings SAICSIT 2004, pages 239-243.

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Abstract

The digital divide between rural and urban areas within developing countries is vast. We investigate how to address this divide by introducing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into remote rural areas. Our aim is to discover how to create locally relevant software applications with appropriate content for these areas. We use a user centred design approach and a modified software development lifecyle that is participatory, iterative and cyclical. This process is based on principles from Participatory Design and Action Research. This paper presents our initial experience of developing a telemedicine application for a rural village in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa using this process. We present an overview of the methodology, describe the software application we have developed and cite several challenges we have faced. Finally we conclude that an inter-organisational and inter-disciplinary approach is needed to develop software for remote areas.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:telemedicine,action research,participatory design
Subjects:D Software: D.2 SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
J Computer Applications: J.3 LIFE AND MEDICAL SCIENCES
H Information Systems: H.5 INFORMATION INTERFACES AND PRESENTATION
ID Code:421
Deposited By:Blake, Edwin H
Deposited On:24 September 2007
Alternative Locations:http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1035053.1035083#