Ongoing Student Projects

Community Collaboration Framework for Co-Design of Technology and Services

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Gereon Koch Kapuire ( PhD Candidate )

Principal Supervisor : Prof. Margot Brereton, Queensland University of Technology
Associate Supervisor : Dr. Alessandro Soro, Queensland University of Technology
External supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology

We have been co-designing technology with indigenous people for over 7 years, where, sessions were initiated by local and external researchers. Many researchers lack the skills and knowledge to be able to build, develop and maintain the relationship with indigenous communities. Equally the community has not developed strong mechanisms of expressing their own set of rules of appropriate interactions. Thus, my objective is to develop a framework for co-design of technology and services to support alien researchers and indigenous communities’ engagement. A Community-Based Co-Design (CBCD) approach is used which takes place within a communal value system and opens up a new debate around the principles of participation and its benefits within HCI4D and ICTD projects. Therefore, our relationship as researchers with any community has to strive for reciprocity, as the notion of reciprocity can lead to sustainable designs, valid research, and profound innovation.

Using Crowdsourcing to preserve Indigenous Knowledge for Rural Communities in Namibia

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Colin Stanley ( PhD Candidate )

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


This research is investigating how rural communities in Namibia could crowdsource graphic designs as part of preserving their Indigenous Knowledge (IK). IK is knowledge mastered by local communities through their cultural practices and survival tactics. IK is usually orally communicated by elders in rural communities in Namibia as compared to scientific knowledge published in research papers. Since IK has not been recorded in any persistent format those that are well equipped with IK when they pass on, they leave with the wealth of IK thus, IK is disappearing. It is based on this background that prompts the importance of preserving IK. As an initial effort to preserve IK, a 3D tablet application HomeSteadCreator (HSC) was developed for the ovaHerero rural communities from Erindi-roukambe, Omaheke region, Namibia (Rodil et al, 2012).

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User-Created Personas: A Four Case-Study of Persona as the Research Foci in Urban and Indigenous Namibia

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Daniel G. Cabrero ( PhD Candidate )

Principal Supervisor : Prof. José Abdelnour-Nocera, University of West London
Associate Supervisor : Prof. Stephen Roberts, University of West London
External supervisor : Prof. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology

Persona is an artefact widely utilised in technology design to support the communicational process between designers, users and other stakeholders involved in the process. Persona originated in the Global North while thus-far it has been partially deployed in the Global South, often under it’s the philosophy of User-Centred Design. This thesis postulates that persona representations are expected to differ across cultures. This is demonstrated through an exploratory-case study on personas co-created with laypeople, User-Created Personas, with four Namibian ethnic groups, namely ovaHerero, Ovambo, ovaHimba and Khoisan. The thesis applies a hermeneutic inquiry approach so as to discern cultural nuances from diverse human conducts. 

The findings presented reveal diverse self-representations whereby results for each ethnic group emerge in different ways, perspectives, recounts and storylines. Ultimately this thesis argues User-Created Personas are a potentially valid approach to pursue cross-cultural conceptualisations of personas that communicate cultural features and user experiences vital to designing useful, acceptable and gratifying technologies in cross-cultural milieus."

Conceptualisation and development of an institutional database as a node for seamless integration with the Namibian National Indigenous Knowledge Management System.

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Michael Bosomefi Chamunorwa ( Masters )

Principal Supervisor : Professor Heike Winschiers-Theophilus
External supervisor : Dr Tariq Zaman


Indigenous and traditional knowledge preservation and sharing using Information and Communication Technologies is advancing at moderate rates. This is in part due to the formats that indigenous and traditional knowledge are usually found in. When viewed from the Namibian and African context, most indigenous knowledge was usually passed down across generations by word of mouth thereby resulting in the absence of reliable literature or digital media depicting this indigenous knowledge. In Namibia, sharing indigenous knowledge in this manner is no longer common due to modernisation and increased rural to urban migration. This has opened new research opportunities that aim to use modern technology to collect and catalogue indigenous knowledge to protect it while also making it available to those who have moved from the rural areas to the cities. 

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Co-designing Cultural technologies to support the well-being of urban San Youth.

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Maria Kauhondamwa ( Masters )

Principal Supervisor : Professor Dr Heike Winschiers-Theophilus



The Khoisan speaking community is the smallest community in Namibia with 1.3 % of the total population.  Khoisan speaking people are considered to be marginalised. A major problem that Khoisan speakers have to contend with is the popular stereotypes associated with them. The majority of the numerous labels used to refer to them (including “San” and “Bushmen”) are etymologically pejorative and evoke a whole series of negative connotations.

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Design and Development of a Collaborative and Open-Content Bilingual Online Dictionary: Oshindonga-English

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Heinrich Naatwilwe Aluvilu ( Masters completed 2017)

Principal Supervisor : Professor Heike Winschiers-Theophilus
Associate Supervisor : Dr Sarala Krishnamurthy


dging the importance of indigenous languages in Namibia, we focus this study on creating solutions to the challenges presented. 

 

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Conceptualization and implementation of an integrated Indigenous Knowledge holders’ tool set to preserve their own cultural heritage.

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Donovan Maasz ( Masters )

Principal Supervisor : Heike Winschiers-Theophilus
Associate Supervisor : Colin Stanley


A lot of effort has been dedicated to the design and development of distinct technologies to support IK preservation in Namibia. However, at this point none of the tools has been deployed, scaled or integrated within a countrywide system. Moreover, with new opportunities of collaborations worldwide through crowdsourcing technologies local systems need to be designed and developed to facilitate such interactions thereby enhancing the overall cultural heritage process. The government is currently funding the development of a national database system to collect, store and process IK across all the regions. However, existing tools will have to be adjusted to enable integration into the national system or interfacing with the crowd before a final release is possible. These processes will have to be driven by leveraging existing research and technologies to conceptualize and implement an efficient and sustainable system of digital IK preservation.

Curating Cultural Heritage Using Crowdsourcing Platforms: A Case Study of the Herero Wedding Crowdsourcing Platform, “Orukupo”

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Gatsen Tjirare ( Honors completed 2017)

Principal Supervisor : Mr. Colin Stanley



The project will attempt to uncover the complexities of the OvaHerero wedding as a cultural process using 

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Community Crowdsourcing Website Implementation factors

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Lenis Heita ( Honors completed 2017)

Principal Supervisor : Collin Stanley
Associate Supervisor :
External supervisor :

Implementation factors of a Community Crowd sourcing website that would allow rural communities tocrowdsource their traditional objects to be modeled into 3D formats by graphic

designers on the global net

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3D REPRESENTATIONS OF CULTURAL PRACTICES: An Exploratory Gamification of the OvaHerero traditional customs

Posted in Ongoing Student Projects

By Iyaloo S. P Shalumbu ( Honors completed 2017)

Principal Supervisor : Professor Heike Winshiers-Theophilus



Namibia experiences a fading away of traditional cultural practices. To some extent, this can be attributed to the effect of urban migration. Closely linked to this migration is the introduction and effect of formal education. Formal education, given its western origin, is far removed from Namibian cultural practices.

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