Meet Our Team
Our team comprises academics and researchers from Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Co-Design/Participatory Design, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Gender studies, Nanotechnology, Tissue engineering, Computer Science, Knowledge Management, Cyber security, and Gender and ICT Intersectionality.
Institution: University of Cape Town
Work Package 3
Ulrike Rivett is an experienced Professor at the School of IT at the University of Cape Town, a globally leading centre of IT and ICT4D research. Prof Rivett is a permanent resident of SA and has a track record of mentoring the next generation of African women STEM scholars at UCT, particularly the UCT alumnae who are now academics in Computer Science, IS and IT across the African continent. She has successfully led 12 multi-country grants from international funders such as Gates Foundation, the Worldbank, DAAD, the EU and others.
Over the last two decades, her research has focused on the application and use of ICTs (Information & Communication Technologies) to support the delivery of basic amenities and services to under-resourced communities in developing countries. The innovative use of existing technologies – in her case mobile phones and other ICTs – offers the opportunity to create a virtual infrastructure between decision-makers, which requires current and reliable information, and stakeholders who can provide this information through appropriate technologies. The need for information cuts across disciplines and her contribution over the last decade has been to ‘connect the dots’ between the knowledge of specialists and the creation of a solution that offers an innovative approach to existing problems. By introducing ICTs in seemingly unrelated fields – such as the health and water sectors – she has been able to develop technologies that cross conventional boundaries of knowledge, decision-making and stakeholder engagement.
Professor Rivett graduated from the Technische Universität München, Germany, in 1994 with a Dipl.-Ing.univ in Land Surveying. She received a scholarship for her PhD in the then Dept. of Land Surveying, today the Dept. of Geomatics at the University of Cape Town. In 2002 she was employed in the Dept. of Civil Engineering. She leads the iCOMMS Research Team at the University of Cape. This team’s research focuses on understanding the use of ICT4D systems for the benefit of society. They achieve this by engaging proactively with academia and rural communities, and by implementing their findings to achieve impact beyond academic boundaries. She has served as the Director of the University of Cape Town’s School of IT – a bridging of the university’s Science, Commerce, and Humanities Faculties, and offering a wide variety of courses and programmes to suit students’ personal interests and aptitudes. She is currently the Deputy Dean for Undergraduate in the Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town.
Contact Ulrike here
Institution: Makerere University
Work Package 1,3 & 4
Fiona Ssozi is a Lecturer in the School of Computing and Informatics Technology at Makerere University (Uganda) and she has been actively teaching in the Department of Information Systems since 2007. She coordinates the Development Informatics Research Group at Makerere and has been involved in a number of ICT4D projects in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Rwanda. Her research generally focuses on using co-design to leverage the potential of ICT tools within the rural water management sector and also with marginalized or vulnerable groups such as the visually impaired, rural residents and small-holder dairy farmers. Fiona holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Makerere University (Uganda), a Masters degree in Information Systems from London South Bank University (UK) and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town (Centre for ICT4D – Department of Computer Science) in South Africa
Contact Fiona here
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Work Package 3
Prof Dorothea Kleine leads the Digital Technologies, Data and Innovation (DDI) group at the Sheffield Institute for International Development, University of Sheffield. Her research investigates sustainable human development, global justice, and the role of ICTs in making progress towards these aims. Themes such as gender equality, participation, justice and choice run strongly through her work.
She has published widely and is particularly well-known for her theoretical work on applying the capabilities approach to digital development, as laid out in Technologies of Choice (MIT Press). Dorothea Kleine has researched with partners in Africa (Kenya and South Africa) and Latin America (Brazil and Chile), as well as advising UNICEF, UNEP, DFID, GIZ, IDRC, Nokia, GSMA and Oxfam. In 2015 she gave the keynote at the GIZ Gender Week.
She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics. Before joining Sheffield, she worked at Cambridge and Bonn universities and was director of the ICT4D Centre, Royal Holloway, University of London. She is Co-Chair of ICT4DNorth (oE) a network of ICT4D researchers at universities in the North of England. Recently she co-facilitated the international participatory process of agreeing on minimum ethical standards in ICT4D/ICTD research.
Contact Dorothea here
Institution: University of Cape Town
Work Package 3
Melissa Densmore is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She directs the HCI Lab and coordinates the South African international branch of the Hasso-Plattner Institute Research School. Densmore’s research explores digital content creation and collaboration for bandwidth-constrained communities in the context of community wireless networks and for maternal and child health and well-being, with a particular interest in understanding how to conduct ICT4D research in an appropriate and ethical community-centred manner. Prior to joining UCT, Densmore completed a postdoc at Microsoft Research India and worked in Silicon Valley as a software developer for various start-ups. Melissa completed her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in Information Management and Systems, has an MSc in Data Communications, Networks and Distributed Systems from University College London, and holds a BA in Computer Science from Cornell University.
Contact Melissa here
Margaret Nyambura Ndung'u
Institution: Dedan Kimathi University of Technology
Work Package 2
Nancy Karuri is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri, Kenya. She obtained her PhD from the University of Wisconsin Madison, USA and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research interest lies in nanotechnology, biomaterials and tissue engineering and she has co-led projects in these fields internationally and locally. Prof Karuri has also published widely in these areas. She has long been an advocate for diversity in STEM and has experience in mentoring women and researchers from underrepresented groups at different levels in their professional development.
Contact Nancy here
Institution: Stockholm University
Work Package 1 & 4
Caroline Wamala-Larsson (PhD) is an Associate Professor in Gender studies and is currently heading the research unit at the Swedish Program at ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), which is located at Stockholm University, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences. With a PhD in Gender and Technology, Caroline’s research interests are in the area of digital transformation in developing contexts and the influence these processes have on the gender structure, as well as the impact of digital transformation on gender.
Contact Caroline here
Work Package 4
Margaret Nyambura Ndung’u is an Information Scientist with over 20 years of experience in digital space. Her current fields of interest are Internet Governance, Cyber Diplomacy, Gender Equity and Sensitivity in the Digital Space, Cybersecurity; and Child Online Safety. She advocates for meaningful and affordable connectivity for all, accompanied by balanced awareness creation of the pros and cons of digital presence, for a real inclusive and progressive digital transformed society for sustainable social economic development. Dr Ndung’u received her PhD in computer science from the University of Nairobi in 2011. She is the founder and executive director of INIIT Kenya, a consulting firm based in Kenya.
Contact Margaret here
Institution: Dedan Kimathi Univesity of Technology
Work Package 2
Ciira Maina is a Senior Lecturer and Data Science expert at the Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri, Kenya. He graduated from the University of Nairobi, Kenya with a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering in 2007 and with a PhD from Drexel University in Philadelphia (USA) in 2011. He had his postdoctoral research experience in machine learning and computational biology at the University of Sheffield. He is a member of the organising committee for Data Science Africa which aims to improve knowledge of machine learning in Africa and served as program chair for DSA 2017 and general chair for DSA 2015 and 2018. He is currently involved in several projects aimed at applying machine learning and the internet of things to problems relevant to the African context.
Contact Ciira here
Institution: The Universty of Sheffield
Work Package 2
Suvodeep Mazumdar is an expert in Data Science and designing a curriculum for inclusive Data Science training. He is a Lecturer in Data Analytics at the Information School, The University of Sheffield. His research explores developing techniques and mechanisms to support user communities in understanding very large complex multidimensional datasets. He conducts interdisciplinary research on highly engaging, interactive, and visual mechanisms in conjunction with complex querying techniques for seamless navigation, exploration and understanding of complex datasets. His research also involves the use of citizen science and crowdsourcing techniques to enable communities enrich large datasets. He teaches Data Visualisation, Big Data, Human-Computer Interaction, and Information Systems and also contributes to teaching in a variety of programmes such as Data Science, Information Management.
Contact Suvodeep here
Institution: Asikana Network
Work Package 1
Chisenga Muyoya is a multi-disciplinary researcher with a deep passion for social change, with over 10 years of experience in technology and how it intersects with gender, data and development. She is a feminist data PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield (UK) and research intersectional approaches to data. She is also the co-founder and research director of Asikana Network, an award-winning initiative that seeks to increase the participation of women and girls in technology in Zambia.
Institution: Univeristy of Cape Town
Joshua Azaki is a PhD student with the iCOMMS research team at the Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. He has over a decade of IT experience in both private and public organisations. He has consulted for the World Wildlife Fund, South Africa in a co-design project as one of the lead facilitators. He has also served as a Senior Teaching and Research Assistant and tutor at the Department of Information Systems for three years. Joshua has a Masters degree in Information Systems from UCT and Bachelors degree in Computer Science from Nasarawa State University Keffi, Nigeria. His research focus is broadly on knowledge management, strategic management, ICT4D, and strategic information systems. He enjoys networking, teaching, research, and mentoring activities.
Contact Joshua here
Are you a senior researcher (a potential mentor) or an early-career female researcher from Africa (a potential mentee) in the following areas?