Designing a persuasive mobile application to encourage the digital recording of Indigenous Knowledge

By Mark Mushiva ( Honors completed 2012)

Principal Supervisor : Dr. Kasper Jensen, Aarhus University

Indigenous knowledge in Namibia is facing a perceivable threat that could ultimately result in the loss of invaluable knowledge paramount for the retention of cultural heritage. With very few initiatives geared towards preserving indigenous knowledge, there is a need to solicit the participation of young Namibians. Many of Namibia’s youth have taken to the versatile use of mobile phones to perform their personalities on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. Meanwhile persuasive technology has been gaining considerable momentum in the world of mobile technology, changing people’s behavior to assume healthier, more environmentally aware and responsible habits.

(continued…) This report focuses on how we can use the effective design frameworks and models of persuasive technology to encourage young Namibians to digitally record indigenous knowledge while keeping the contextual differences of Namibia into consideration. It is our aim that due to the technological inclinations of Namibian youth, they can be used as agents or proxies to record valuable indigenous knowledge from older generations. A working cohesion between persuasive technology and indigenous knowledge recording could potentially serve as the foundation of any indigenous knowledge system. From a field study of a prototype mobile application we found that it is possible and feasible to use mobile persuasion.

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