Category Archives: Information and Communication Technologies


African Traditional Medicine and the World Wide Semantic Web

African Traditional Medicine (ATM) is widely used in Africa. According to the World Health Organization. African Traditional Medicine plays a crucial role in Sub-Saharan Africa as the first line health system for ca. 80% of the population, thanks to its accessibility, affordability and embeddedness in local tradition. Gossa Lô,  Victor de Boer and Stefan Schlobach investigated […]

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A new “Voice Service Development Kit” by André Baart

Building ICTs to connect the unconnected people in e.g. rural Africa, is challenging due to the language and literacy gap. Voice-based ICT systems have proven useful, e.g. for meteo services or market information. However, in general they are much more complicated to build that text-based systems, for ICT and Web developers. To make this easier […]


W4RA team visits Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

From 25 August to 1 September 2017, The W4RA team visited UNIMAS in Sarawak. Aim of this visit was to continue and expand research collaboration with UNIMAS in ICT4D.  The W4RA team was represented, on this trip, by Prof. Hans Akkermans, Dr. Jaap Gordijn, Anna Bon and Bruno van Moerkerken, who did filming and photography […]

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New research in W4RA program by three master students Information Science@VU

The W4RA team at VU is proud to present three new master theses: by Justyna Kleczar (July 2017), Reshmi Sarkar (June 2017) and Jamila Daoudi (May 2017). Justyna Kleczar’s work is on speech technologies for underresourced languages. It comprises a new methodology, including very comprehensive tooling, which facilitates and allows development of new voice-based applications. […]


ICT4D at National Sustainability Day in Higher Education @VU 19 May 2017

In track 5 of the NDDHO event (Nationale Duurzaamheidsdag in het Hoger Onderwijs): “Sustainability and ICT for development (ICT4D)” Presented by Anna Bon, Victor de Boer, Francis Dittoh, André Baart and others 11.15 –  VU Hoofgebouw, Auditorium Prototype demos of ICT4D systems for rural Africa: Master students Information Science, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence in the ICT4D course. […]


4th International Symposium ‘Perspectives on ICT4D’ 18 May @VU

On 18 May 2017, the 4th International Symposium “Perspectives on ICT for Development (ICT4D)” will be hosted by VU Network Institute, the Netherlands Research School for Information and Knowledge Systems SIKS, the Computer Science Department and VU International Office. This year’s theme is “Sustainability and ICT4D”. Invited speakers from Ghana, France and the Netherlands will […]


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W4RA broadcast live on Burkina radio

Many farmers in Africa are in urgent need for weather forecasts and  rain data services, to better plan and improve their harvests. However, language and illiteracy issues, as well a total lack of computers, smartphones and internet, pose  obstacles to access this very relevant information. Last week, the W4RA team from VU Amsterdam held a […]


ICT4D course for master students at VU, 2017

The VU ICT4D course 2017 will make you experience the  “Unconnected World”, or rather: how large populations do not reach the Web. While we spend our lives in the era of live-streaming (twitch), cloud-computing (google drive) and voice-based home assistants (amazon alexa), billions still live without an internet connection and are unable to read and […]

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W4RA organizes Green Climate Fund workshop in Bamako, Mali

Bamako, 15 October 2016 – VU collaborates with Malian farmers towards Regreening to mitigate the effects of climate change and improve food security in rural Mali. On 13 October 2016, the W4RA team organized and co-chaired, a Green Climate Funds workshop together with Malian farmer organization AOPP (l’Association des Organisations professionnelles paysannes). The objective of […]