Showing1 to10 of18 posts.

Completed Student Projects

Cross-cultural co-creation of Indigenous Knowledge Management System

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Kasper Rodil ( PhD completed 2016)

Principal Supervisor : Matthias Rehm, Aalborg University
External supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology


Indigenous elders in Sub-Saharan Africa have for decades transferred valuable cultural and local knowledge to youths through interpersonal interactions in collectivistic rural villages. The youths are now sent to the capital to study a modern Curriculum as directed by governmental rules and regulations. Previous attempts to preserve and facilitate this knowledge transfer have proven unsuccessful in terms of Western design thinking and lack of understanding of limitations and unique opportunities embodied in a cross-cultural collaboration. The project investigates the potential of digital 3D visualization as opposed to trad. Database systems/search-by-term libraries to facilitate knowledge transfer between indigenous groups, and how it can play an intercultural role as a shared language in co-designing knowledge.

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Designing Persuasive Systems for Rural Communities in Namibia

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Mark Mushiba ( Masters completed 2014)

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology



While current trends of use show that technology is increasingly being accepted into communities that were thought to be inaccessible either because of infrastructure or cultural barriers, the rate at which these technologies are being adopted is not significant enough to foster the much needed benefits. In light of the use of ICT in rural settings, one could say that technology is underutilized.This has recently become an area of concern since most of the world’s socio economic innovations are being delivered through technology. The effectiveness of some of these innovations depend on whether or not they are capable of successfully integrating themselves into rural communities in a way that their use is aligned with the behavior of the people they are meant for.

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Towards appropiate user interface design preserving rural african communication practices-listeners roles in face-to-face communication

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Shilumbe Chivuno-Kuria ( Masters completed 2012)

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology



In order to design appropriate interfaces for Indigenous knowledge Management systems. The fact that in those communities, communication takes place primarily through oral transmission also has to be considered. Oral communication involves both narrators and listeners who engage in an interactive correspondence including verbal and non verbal communication during storytelling. Many researchers focus on Narrators but in this thesis, we will concentrate on listeners’ contributions during interpersonal communications in rural communities. Non verbal communication such as gestures are prevalent in traditional oral African communities and these can offer rich information that can be infused in interface designs for human computer interaction. The aim of this mini-thesis is to identify general socio-cultural norms, communication behaviour such as non-verbal communication structures (gestures) including general verbal utterances of the rural Otjiherero speaking people to provide a basis for subsequent use in the design of local Systems.

An explorative action research study toward the design of a digital knowledge organisation as part of an Indigenous Knowledge Management system with a Herero community

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Gereon Koch Kapuire ( Masters completed 2013)

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Edwin Blake, University of Cape Town
External supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology


Indigenous Knowledge Management Systems are being developed in order to preserve, process and retrieve knowledge. Unfortunately, most of the systems available do not take into account cultural ways of organising and sharing of indigenous knowledge by local communities. Current technology trends and developments have hardly been informed by African indigenous and rural knowledge systems. Thus, either substantial modifications are necessary in adapting technology to the requirements of indigenous knowledge systems, or those systems are inadequately represented through technologies. This work explores different options of organising video recorded indigenous knowledge in the pursuit of maintaining local communication patterns and practices.

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Toward a Framework for Digitalising Protection of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Elifas Tangeni Angula ( Masters completed 2015)

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology



Indigenous Knowledge (IK) forms an important contribution to research and development, particularly in areas such as arts, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture and cosmetic products. In the context of these uses, Indigenous people have claims that their rights as traditional knowledge holders and custodians of this knowledge are not adequately recognized or protected. They demand not only recognition and protection of this knowledge, but also the right to share equitably in benefits derived from the uses of this knowledge. As much as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is promoted as a tool to protect Indigenous Knowledge as per international laws of IP and patenting, ICT evenly carries the risks to achieve exactly the opposite.

This project aims to explore further risks in inappropriate handling of IK through ICTs and seeks to develop a framework for digital protection of IK. Issues such as , e.g. ownership authentication, access and sharing rights of rightful owners among others will be considered in the collection, documentation and dissemination of indigenous knowledge using digital technology.

Gamification as a means to enhance the preservation of indigenous knowledge in Namibia

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Ndeupewa K Nakamwe ( Honors completed 2015)

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology



The extinction of indigenous knowledge faces a great threat in Namibia as the elderly's of the country find it challenging to pass on the knowledge and cultural practices to the youth, mostly due to urban migration. Moreover youth has often not shown interest in learning IK. Recent developments of cultural heritage technologies with Namibian indigenous communities have opened new opportunities for knowledge transfer to the youth. This research is therefore aimed at exploring gaming as the tool that could be deemed effective for use by the youth in order to engage with t IK and cultural practices. Different game strategies and popular games will be investigated as a suitable basis to integrate local cultural heritage.

Collaborative Open-Content Platform/Dictionary for Namibian Indigenous Languages

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Heinrich Aluvilu ( Honors completed 2015)

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology



Namibia, a multilingual nation, like other African countries, comprises of numerous indigenous languages besides the declared national language, English. Only recently has the language policy changed to accommodate indigenous languages in primary formal education. Nevertheless only a few Namibian local languages have written material and no on-line dictionary for local languages exists yet. Thus this research project is going to initiate the development of a digitalized Namibian collaborative online dictionary-like resource for creating, defining and storing indigenous languages. We have chosen to use the design research methodology, which will allow us to employ different design techniques during our project implementation. We will start off by evaluating similar existing web-based open-content platforms to inform our decisions on the most suitable design for a local language open content platform for Namibia. We investigate which data structure is most appropriate for local languages storage and how we will model them and also identify a user interface (UI) suitable for accommodating different users of different age groups and knowledge backgrounds.

Exploring Seductive Digital Cultural Technologies for Indigenous Youth

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Maria Kauhondamwa ( Honors completed 2015)

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology



Indigenous knowledge and practices of Namibian tribes has lost value and attention among many local youth, especially in urban settings. Besides its cultural heritage value we postulate that indigenous youths could benefit from past wisdom. In this research we explore seductive design as a theoretical approach to entice indigenous urban youth to engage and record cultural insights. We have run two workshops with San youth to gain design inspirations for digital cultural technologies to be used and promoted among the youth. First non-functional prototypes are presented and evaluated.

Designing 3D Representations of Flora and the 24 Hour Clock Cycle in rural Namibia

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Donovan Maasz ( Honors completed 2015)

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology



Projects aimed at the preservation of indigenous knowledge worldwide have attracted various interests from different parties. Based on these interests research has been initiated which lead to the understanding of cultural variations in perception, recognition and meaning making of digital representations. We acknowledge that the recognition of familiar objects depends on the various conceptualizations and significant factors that are being represented. Very few studies have ventured into the field to discover these “significant factors” for indigenous people. Therefore the purpose of this study is to determine the factors related to the 3D representation of trees and time, model it and test the recognition rate amongst indigenous people. Data for the design of the 3D models will be collected via a number of modified visually imaginative games that will be played with the indigenous people in Erindiroukambe and Ohandungwa.

Sustaining engagement among elders using Conversational Agent Systems for Indigenous Knowledge transfer

Posted in Completed Student Projects

By Gervasius Ishuuwa ( Honors completed 2015)

Principal Supervisor : Mr. Gereon Koch Kapuire, Namibia University of Science and Technology



Indigenous knowledge is facing a perceivable threat that could ultimately result in the loss of valuable knowledge paramount for the retention of cultural heritage. Indigenous knowledge is transferred from older generations to younger generations but due to increasing urbanisation, the chain of indigenous knowledge transfer has been faced with a risk of total loss, thus, there is a need to sustain engagement among elders for the transfer of indigenous knowledge. Many elders indicated versatile use of mobile phones to perform their personalities and communication on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and other social networking sites.

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