e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries. Third International ICST Conference, AFRICOMM 2011, Zanzibar, Tanzania, November 23-24, 2011, Revised Selected Papers

Research Article

The Expansion of the Siyakhula Living Lab: A Holistic Perspective

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-642-29093-0_22,
        author={Lorenzo Dalvit and Ingrid Sieb\o{}rger and Hannah Thinyane},
        title={The Expansion of the Siyakhula Living Lab: A Holistic Perspective},
        proceedings={e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries. Third International ICST Conference, AFRICOMM 2011, Zanzibar, Tanzania, November 23-24, 2011, Revised Selected Papers},
        proceedings_a={AFRICOMM},
        year={2012},
        month={5},
        keywords={Living Labs ICT-for-development wireless networks WiMAX social aspects community involvement},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-642-29093-0_22}
    }
    
  • Lorenzo Dalvit
    Ingrid Siebörger
    Hannah Thinyane
    Year: 2012
    The Expansion of the Siyakhula Living Lab: A Holistic Perspective
    AFRICOMM
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-29093-0_22
Lorenzo Dalvit,*, Ingrid Siebörger1,*, Hannah Thinyane1,*
  • 1: Rhodes University
*Contact email: l.dalvit@ru.ac.za, i.sieborger@ru.ac.za, h.thinyane@ru.ac.za

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the recent expansion of network connectivity within the Siyakhula Living Lab. This is part of an ICT-for-development project located in a rural area on the Wild Coast of South Africa. Thus far, five schools in the area have been the primary points of access to the network for the surrounding communities. Thanks to external funding, eleven more schools will be connected. Consistent with the Living Lab approach, the expansion needs to take into account technical as well as social aspects. Technical challenges relate mainly to the constraints of working in a rugged, mountainous terrain with poor road and electricity infrastructure and harsh environmental conditions such as dust and temperature variances. Social challenges relate to obtaining the buy-in of the local community and to reaching consensus on the criteria for the expansion. In this paper we account for the preliminary work which led to the implementation plan. We hope our experience will inform similar interventions in other parts of Africa.