Category Archives: Information and Communication Technologies


Two more student projects: Digital Divide and Social Inclusion of Homeless People

In the framework  of the W4RA project to bridge the Digital Divide, and the student project Digitize Amsterdam, Carlbandro Edoga and  Marc Hegeman examine the obstacles homeless people face in urban areas of the Netherlands when using technology.  Thereby, they will investigate if there are needs that are unique for homeless people and thus require […]

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Student project: Virtual Agents to Close the Digital Gap

In our modern society the increasing digitization of so many aspects of life holds a risk of social exclusion of various groups. People who find difficulties in accessing online information and navigating the Web are heavily disadvantaged, when information from the government, taxes, health services, legal information etc. is increasingly reachable as digital service only. […]


AOPP and W4RA’s project on Food Security and Seed Knowledge Systems

AOPP and the W4RA team will continue collaboration on the topic of Food Security in rural Mali, focusing on the information and knowledge sharing, which is necessary to improve value chains for seeds. Lack of information and means to communicate hamper the socio-economic condition of many small farmers in the Sahel. They do not have […]


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New student project: Nine Principles for Digital Development — how are they used in practice?

For several decades ICT4D practitioners over the world — funded by international development donor agencies or private funds —  have tried to empower disadvantaged communities by providing them with ICT solutions. However, this has not not always worked out successfully. Often, technologies have been deployed for the “poor” without knowing their needs or assessing their […]


Digitize Amsterdam: New Student Projects in the W4RA team

The Digital Divide is not just a North-South divide in the world. Digital exclusion is all around us. We don’t need to travel far. To tackle this problem, in 2019 the W4RA program has started exploration of the Digital Gap in Amsterdam. This project fits into the Community Service Learning program of VU. The student […]

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Appong: an application to help Gula Apong producers in Sarawak

Appong is the name of an application that helps increase sales of Gula Apong, a traditional sugar product, produced by smallholder farmers in Sarawak, Malaysia. The application was designed and built by a mixed team of master students from VU Amsterdam and UNIMAS: Giorgi, Judith, Kuan and Chris, in the framework of an educational ICT4D […]


A low-cost IoT sensor kit to measure surface water quality in rural Africa

Good drinking water is essential for all. However, in e.g. rural Africa the quality of water, for example from wells is not always reliable. Lab water testing and existing tools are expensive and time consuming. Allard Oelen developed a low-cost sensor kit, for the rural context of rural Africa. The IoT sensor measures a number […]


Final conference ICT4D in the Field – collaborative course by VU and UNIMAS

Samarahan, 2 July 2018 “It is a great pleasure to present to you the work of our VU and UNIMAS student group, who worked the past month of June very hard to build ICT solutions to serve local communities in Sarawak, Malaysia, in a practically oriented course that we have given the name ICT4D in […]


Keynote by Chris Reij, at the 5th International Symposium “Perspectives on ICT4D”, 27  May 2018, Amsterdam

“In Africa’s drylands food security is facing serious challenges. With the current population growth in, for example Niger, the population is estimated to have doubled in the last 20 years. Unsustainable land management practices, the effects of climate change and a growing population pressure are causing soil degradation at an unprecedented scale. National governments of African countries have set ambitious goals to restore degraded land. However, given current rates of demographic growth these targets are not ambitious enough. The pace of re-greening needs to be speeded up, as soon as possible. One very promising initiative is re-greening of Africa’s drylands. Since the mid 1980s a growing number of innovative farmers and local communities in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger have started to practice simple, low-cost farmer-managed natural regeneration on their field. Farmers in densely-populated parts of Niger have done so at scale (5 million ha), but much more needs to be done. A communication strategy is extremely important, to speed up the scale of re-greening successes and reverse the trends of soil degradation and desertification. “

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