“Design with the User”, ”Collaborate”, ”Understand the Existing Eco-system”, ”Build for Sustainability!" These are the new requirements for professionals who contribute to bridge the Digital Divide. These requirements are formulated as the new ”Principles for Digital Development” and mark a global trend towards more agile, user-centred and innovation-oriented approaches in International Development Cooperation and technology design for low resource environments. However, this asks for new skills and knowledge of the new generation of ICT4D professionals, who will bring this into practice.
Positioned at the heart of the VU's vision of social commitment, the courses “ICT4D” and “ICT4D in the Field”, electives in the master track Computer Science, Information Science and Artificial Intelligence, give an introduction to the relatively new and interdisciplinary field of ICT4D. The courses are co-created and lectured jointly by the Department of Computer Science (CS) and the Center for International Cooperation (CIS). The courses follow a Community Service Learning approach. In ICT4D students develop a group project for users in a low resource environment. In “ICT4D in the Field” students and lecturers travel to a developing country or region, for example, rural Malaysia, or Ghana and build information systems to help solve problems defined by local communities. They use a collaborative, user-centred and reflective approach, dubbed ICT4D 3.0.
These courses allow students to combine previously acquired skills and knowledge with newly acquired insight into complex development contexts, and reflect on the ethical aspects.
For more information about ICT4D contact Anna Bon.