Look back at the Symposium “The Web and The Digital Divide”

The fifth International Symposium ” Perspectives on ICT4D”,  took place at VU on 27th May 2018. This year the Symposium was not a public event, as the past few years, as it was collocated with the ACM Web Science Conference 2018, as one of the 7 pre-conference workshops. This year’s theme was “The Web and the Digital Divide”. The event was chaired by Victor de Boer and Anna Bon, who organizered this event, together with Gayo Diallo (University of Bordeaux), Christophe Guéret (Accenture), and Jaap Gordijn (VU). The event consisted of two invited talks, 7 paper presentations of peer-reviewed papers about a variety of topics related to ICT4D, the Web and the Digital Divide. Master students from the ICT4D 2018 course presented posters and gave demos of their prototypes.

The keynote speech was given by Chris Reij, Senior Research Fellow at the World Resources Institute, Washington, USA. Chris addressed the problem of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel, and how farmer innovation was able to reverse this trend. The way to speed up the pace in which regreening is diffused, as a local innovation, is to do this with context-aware ICT systems, that use radio and mobile telephone as important channels. The talk was titled:“Can Communication help Speed up the Greening of Africa’s drylands?”

The following peer-reviewed papers were presented:

André Baart, Anna Bon, Victor de Boer, Wendelien Tuyp and Hans Akkermans. Kasadaka: A Voice Service Development Platform to Bridge the Web’s Digital Divide.
Franz-Ferdinand Rothe. ICT for Development in a Post-2015 World: How to conceptualise ICT4D in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals
Allard Oelen, Chris J van Aart and Victor de Boer. Measuring surface water quality using a low-cost sensor kit within the context of rural Africa
Francis Dittoh, from the University for Development Studies, Ghana: “Information Access for Development: Weather Information Access for Rural Ghana”.
Joost Dijkers, Sietse Overbeek and Sergio España. Improving ICT4D projects with Agile software development
Melchior Keijdener, Sietse Overbeek and Sergio Espãna. Scalability factors in an ICT4D context: A literature review Sanjay Podder, Shalabh Kumar Singh, Praveen Tanguturi, Pradeep Roy, Christophe Guéret and Neville Dubash. Tech4Good: Collectively scaling up social transformation
Aske Robenhagen, Marije Visscher, Victor de Boer, Julie Ferguson. Knowledge Management Practices for Development – Lessons from Post-Earthquake Nepal.

Students pitched their recent projects/prototypes.

There was a poster fair after the symposium with other participants of the Events Day of the ACM Web Science 2018 Conference.

The papers will soon be published as Event Proceedings.