Research


At the ICT4D Centre at the University of Cape Town, we research on Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D), the application of computer technology to development problems of developing countries. We believe in working on what we are personally passionate about, and using our passion and love for technology to change the world. If you are interested in studying ICT4D, I'd encourage you to watch this 6-minute video about our lab and our work, and consider joining us here in Cape Town!

My research, supervised by Prof. Gary Marsden, focuses on giving rural communities a voice using mobile technologies; to promote the creation and consumption of local digital content. I am particularly interested in improving ways in which people with low levels of literacy access educational content, the web and other ICT services. In the last three years, I have worked on a project that uses mobile videos to train Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Lesotho. Working together with a health centre in Mafeteng, Lesotho (primarily with Sister Limpho Morie), we developed a computer application that nurses who are based at the clinic use to create non-textual content for the CHWs. The application typically allows its user to cascade a series of images and record decriptive voice over each image. The combination of images and accompanying voice (and sometimes video clips) is then exported as an .mp4 video file that can play on even low end feature phones. Nurses and public health professionals who work with the CHWs create such content based on their observations of the health information needs in the community, and the content is distributed in the villages through the the CHWs' mobile phones, loosely demostrated by the image below:


Further details on this work can be obtained from the publications below and this entry on Cisco Blogs.

Publications


  • Molapo, Maletsabisa, and Gary Marsden. Software Support for Creating Digital Health Training Materials in the Field, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD 2013).
  • Molapo, Maletsabisa, and Gary Marsden. Content Prototyping–An Approach for Engaging Non-technical Users in Participatory Design., Human-Computer Interaction–INTERACT 2013. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013. 788-795.
  • Molapo, Maletsabisa, and Gary Marsden. Health education in rural communities with locally produced and locally relevant multimedia content. Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Symposium on Computing for Development. (ACM DEV 2013).
  • Molapo, Maletsabisa, and Gary Marsden. The Potential of Mobile Video As a Medium for Training Low Literate Audiences. Proceedings of Southern African Telecommunications Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC 2012).
  • Lerato, Lerato, and Maletšabisa Molapo. Proposed information access network architecture for Government information and services: Progress report. IST-Africa, 2010. IEEE, 2010.
  • Lerato, Lerato, Maletšabisa Molapo, and Lehlohonolo Khoase. Proposed information access network architecture for Government information and services: Progress report. Proceedings of Southern African Telecommunications Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC 2009).