Author Archives: Victor de Boer


Developing a Sustainable Weather Information System in Rural Burkina Faso

[This post on victordeboer.com describes the Information Sciences Master Project of Hameedat Omoine and is based on her thesis.] In the quest to improve the lives of farmers and improve agricultural productivity in rural Burkina Faso, meteorological data has been identified as one of the is key information needs for local farmers. Various online weather […]


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W4RA work featured in BBC article

A BBC web article “‘Siri, will talking ever top typing?’ By Padraig Belton features our work done on voice interfaces for farmer information in Northern Ghana. Francis Dittoh talks about the need for specific information for farmers in their own language and discusses ongoing research into our Kasadaka system. Anna Bon talks more about the […]


Ghana trip Feb 2018

[crosspost from victordeboer.com] As part of the ongoing W4RA efforts, the VU ICT4D team visited West-Africa once more. This time, we visited Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. I personally went to Ghana to talk to external PhD candidate Francis Dittoh and his colleagues at the University of Development Studies (UDS) and the SARI institute in […]

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Machine-to-machine communication in rural conditions: Realizing KasadakaNet

[This post describes research by Fahad Ali and is based on his Msc. thesis] Contextual constraints (lack of infrastructure, low-literacy etc.) play an important role in ICT for Development (ICT4D) projects. The Kasadaka project offers a technological platform for knowledge sharing applications in rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, lack of stable internet connections restrict exchange […]


W4RA at National Day for Sustainability

[cross-posted from victordeboer.com] During the National Day for Sustainability (Nationale dag voor duurzaamheid in het hoger onderwijs 2017), the ICT4D team presented our current research and educational activities to the many participants of this event, hosted at VU. Anna Bon and myself presented our work on sustainable methodologies for ICT4D as well as current work […]


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VU’s 4th ICT4D symposium: a look back

Yesterday, 18 May 2017, the 4th International ICT4D symposium was held at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.  The event was organized by the W4RA team and supported by VU Network Institute, the Netherlands Research School for Information and Knowledge Systems SIKS, VU Computer Science Department and VU International Office. Invited speakers from Ghana, France and the Netherlands highlighted this […]


A look back at Downscale2016

On 29 August, the 4th International Workshop on Downscaling the Semantic Web (Downscale2016) was held as a full-day workshop in Amsterdam co-located with the ICT4S conference. The workshop attracted 12 participants and we received 4 invited paper contributions, which were presented and discussed in the morning session (slides can be found below). These papers describe a […]


2nd TMT Workshop in Bamako

From 7-9 May 2016, the second TMT-AOPP workshop was held in Bamako, Mali. This workshop was held in the context of the Tailor Made Training project that VU Amsterdam participates in together with the Malinese farmer organization Association des Organisations Professionnelles Paysannes (AOPP). During the workshop, which was attended by around 25 AOPP members from all over Mali, […]


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Dr. Nana Baah Gyan and the Web for Rural Development

On 5 april 2016, Nana Baah Gyan successfully defended his PhD thesis “The Web, Speech Technologies and Rural Development in West Africa, An ICT4D Approach” in front of the reading committee at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Dr. Nana worked as a PhD researcher mostly in the context of the FP-7 VOICES project and was supervised by prof. Hans Akkermans and […]