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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - Gaborone: Department of Computer Science, University of Botswana
Title Representing Information for Semi-Literate Users: Digital Inclusion Using Mobile Phone Technology
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
URL http://cirn.infotech.monash.edu.au/assets/docs/prato2009/prato2009papers/masizana-katongo.pdf
Botswana as a developing country is one of those countries hard hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the impact of HIV/AIDS on national development and socio-economic transformations has made it a national development priority. The government is working hard to facilitate the provision of education and raising awareness concerning the pandemic. However, the country is facing a challenge of uneven population and development distribution with most population, developments and higher levels of literacy found in urban areas. As a result such challenges disadvantage rural populations by making them the victims of the digital divide and lagging behind when it comes to information accessibility. To improve this situation, ICT solutions are needed to bridge this gap. In January 2005 the Department of Computer Science, University of Botswana received funding for a project, which is part of Microsoft Digital Inclusion initiative (Microsoft 2005) aiming at bridging the gap between relatively well-developed and less developed regions in the world. The project termed Integrated Healthcare Information System through Mobile telephony (IHISM 2007) aims at bridging the digital divide by developing an HIV and AIDS public information portal accessible through mobile phones. IHISM takes advantage of the country’s high mobile penetration to improve access to HIV/AIDS information. This research aims at devising the best technological solution to present HIV and AIDS information in ways that the semi-literate and illiterate populations can be able to comprehend and use effectively using mobile phones.

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