Fiona Ssozi

Email address: fssoziAtcs.uct.ac.za

Biography

Fiona holds an MSc. (Information Systems) degree from London South Bank University (UK) and a BSc. in Computer Science from Makerere University (Uganda).  She is a lecturer in the College of Computing and Information Sciences at Makerere University in Uganda. Her research interests involve requirements engineering, Information Systems Analysis and design and working with underserved/under resourced communities to develop appropriate ICT tools through co-design. Fiona’s PhD research focuses on co-designing appropriate ICT tools to support rural communities in the management of their water supplies under the Community based (water) management model. This research seeks to not only empower communities to participate in the design and development of ICT tools that meet their needs but also to show how technology design approaches can contribute to sustainability of community-based ICT interventions. This research is being conducted under the supervision of Prof. Edwin Blake and Assoc. Prof. Ulrike Rivett. 

Research Interests

Rural Africans have poor access to clean and safe water compared to other developing areas. Many Information and Communication Technology (ICT) interventions have been implemented to address the information gaps that hinder improved service delivery but have subsequently failed. The inability to provide suitable content, failure to address priority needs of communities and foster local buy-in are seen as the main causes. The transition from developing technologies for users to developing with users has created the need to harness collective ideation. Developing community-based ICT interventions collaboratively with the user communities provides a better understanding of the cultural nuances that can easily affect the use and adoption of an intervention. Co-design is a user-centered approach that allows system designers to work with users as co-designers to identify the problem to be addressed, agree on the means to tackle the issue and together decide on how to measure success. It helps to ensure that whatever technology is developed is relevant/appropriate, usable and therefore has a higher chance of being used continually. Co-design provides a good framework for involving rural communities and introducing ICTs to them that meet their needs and therefore contribute to sustainable community development. This study therefore seeks to explore the application of co-design with rural communities to develop appropriate and sustainable ICT interventions (with a case study of Rural Water Supply Management in Uganda). 

Publications

  • Lubega, J. and Ssozi, F. M (2008) A Generic E-learning Framework: A Case study of Faculty of Computing and Information Technology (CIT) Makerere University. In Aisbett, J., Gibbon, G., Rodrigues, A. J., Kizza, M. J., Nath, R.and Renardel, G. R.: Strengthening the Role of ICT in Development, Vol.IV, pp. 340-350, ISBN : 978-9970-02-871-2
  • Flipsen, N. A., van der Weide, Th. P., van Reijswoud, V. E., and Ssozi, F. (Fiona) (2009) Learning without Borders: Community Based Learning in a Development Setting in proceedings of The 2nd International Multi-Conference on Engineering and Technological Innovation, Vol III, pp. 303-308, ISBN: 978-1-934272-70-1