In 2017, VU and UNIMAS (the University of Malaysia in Sarawak) started a collaboration project in the field of ICT4D research and education. At VU, researchers from the Network Institute, in the research program W4RA, have developed methods to build information systems in low-resource, low-tech environments, based on collaboration, iteration, adaptation. This methodology has been rolled out and validated in West Africa, since 2009. It can now be used and tested under different rural conditions, as encountered in rural or sub-urban communities (kampungs) in Sarawak, Malaysia.
At UNIMAS, the Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI), formerly known as the Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics (CoERI) was established in April 2011 in Kota Samarahan. The Centre was established given the success of a flagship bridging-the-digital-divide pilot project, eBario. A key focus of ISITI is to bridge the technology-people’s gap; in particular, encompassing technological innovations for indigenous communities.
To consolidate this new collaboration between the two universities, an MoU between VU and Unimas will be signed by the vice-chancellor of UNIMAS on June 8th 2018. For VU Prof. Hans Akkermans, who is chairing the VU team in this course, will sign the MoU on behalf of the rector Prof. Vinod Subramaniam.
View the slideshow of the MoU ceremony, made public by UNIMAS: