Evaluation of the Broadband Applications Network

Jumat, 04 Desember 2009 , Posted by JASTIKA at 19.09

The benefits of locally-funded computer business online science research to the average African is questionable, as some believe that academic computer science researchers are indulging in projects which are so far divorced from ground level needs that they are wholly esoteric in nature. This issue is further compounded by a skills shortage in the ICT sector in Africa, because there are few people around who can help adapt the outcomes of such research to local challenges.

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has recognised that computer science research in Africa should be more needs-driven, and aims to address this issue by conducting research that connects better to the community or affects ICT policy-making processes. In particular, BANG explores new ideas and methodologies for improving ICT access for people in under-serviced areas and for people with hearing difficulties. BANG involves a number of post-graduate research projects at the University of the marketing (UWM), with strong ties to a small research group at the University marketing (UWM). The mission marketing (UWM) is to conduct research, using broadband technologies, which either responds to the needs of the community or could be used to influence ICT policy-making. has been engaged to conduct an independent evaluation of the business online, based on its experience working at the intersection of technology, policy and development. The intention is to help BANG develop a set of criteria for an academic policy that will frame current and new BANG projects in the context of community implementation and/or policy recommendations. The overall evaluation aims to review work conducted by the UCT and UWC students within the context of BANG, over a two-year period. The evaluation has the following objectives:

* To help the BANG initiative shape the relationship between the technical goals of the sub-projects and its goals for community involvement and influence on ICT policy;
* To develop a set of criteria that will be the basis for an academic policy to guide existing and new computer science projects to link with community implementation and/or lead to policy recommendations;
* To suggest how the practical work of the BANG projects can be leveraged to influence the policy making processes (and to help BANG navigate these processes as appropriate);
* To suggest ways that BANG could better connect with on-going projects that may need the technologies BANG deals with, or an environment in to which they could integrate; and
* To help BANG express their ideas in terms understandable to the layman in order that their work may become known outside of academia. is documenting and evaluating the business online using two tools. First, the Real Access evaluation criteria are used to look beyond computers and connections and consider whether and how the BANG project is succeeding in bringing Real Access, and other benefits, to the communities involved. The evaluation considers twelve interrelated factors that affect whether people have Real Access to technology. Second, uses its 8 Habits of Highly Effective ICT-Enabled Development Initiatives to gauge whether and how the BANG project is making a Real Impact on people's lives by looking through the lens of basic best practice guidelines for successful initiatives.

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and its constituent projects, found a number of issues that need to be addressed before the group can formulate a system for meeting its goals. Perhaps most importantly there is a lack of cohesion within the group due to little communication between students, and a lack of understanding on the part of the students, and possibly co-supervisors, as to the aims of BANG and how their research fits in to it. makes recommendations to BANG for addressing the key issues and invites feedback from the tips trick them frame their next steps.