Research process and overview
The following activities were part of the research, which is also referred to as Evidence-based policy component:
- Supervise and/or support selected postgraduate students at universities in the Education, Information systems, IT/Computer Science departments to do their studies based on the project purpose, scope and objectives.
- Have some postgraduate research results and literature which can be applied by other components and champions of this project and for dissemination of results at national and international forums;
- Sharing findings in peer reviewed publications (Market the project to wider community);
- Ensure that all research on this project is tracked and monitored for completeness and quality purposes;
- Provide a methodological framework of all research done on this project;
- Apply ethical approval from the Provincial Department of Education of the Eastern Cape to conduct research with students in the Nciba district schools.
- Apply ethical approval from CSIR to conduct the research for this project.
- Add value to Human Capital development of both students and other researchers involved in the project (including teachers at Cofimvaba).
HCD on this project involves not only postgraduate students but also Postdocs and other researchers at the different universities in South Africa.
There was a certain process which was followed to get postgraduate students involved and special attention was paid to get university students from University of levitra dosage Fort Hare, Rhodes and NMMU (universities in the Eastern Cape Province) involved. The following process was applied:
Universities and specific departments/Faculties are approached to present the ICT4RED project to them to determine if any of their students, staff or other researchers associated with their university will be interested to be part of the project at postgraduate level. They did the selection levitra dosage themselves and Meraka researchers were requested to provide overview of the project and also some ideas on what are the possibilities.
Students have to provide a summarised overview of their possible title, scope, and provide a one pager which answer: What, where, when, how and why as a starting point within 2 weeks for further discussions.
Individual in-depth discussions are held with interested students and their supervisors at the universities. (one supervisor from Meraka and one at the specific university is suggested but not enforced). This is done every year until 2015.
Students have 6-9 months (depending on the university) to complete a proposal which has to be accepted by their respective research committees.
Students have to get their own ethical approval at their universities. CSIR already received ethical approval (Ref 62/2013) for the project as well as approval to conduct research at the schools from the Department of Basic Education: Eastern Cape Province.
A MoA is signed with each university and its respective Faculties and departments with timelines and specific deliverables.
Each proposal accepted from the universities will have to be supplied to this agenda and team of this project.
Regular progress reports have to be completed (one every quarter) per annum for each student who is funded.
Supervisor and co-supervisor meet with students every quarter to trace progress and address queries;
All students and co-supervisors are taken to Cofimvaba to meet the teachers before they do field work;
Field work trips are arranged to coincide with other interventions at the schools in Cofimvaba and is done after school hours;
Scholarship payments are done by the project manager of this project after CSIR was invoiced by the respective university. Payments are only affected after signature of the MoAs, Proof of registration of students was received and student’s proposals were accepted and approved by their respective Faculties.
Currently there are seven Masters degree students (1 Black female from Rhodes, 1 Black male from Unisa, 1 Black male from NMMU, three white females and one white male) and two PhD students (2 Black females from Rhodes).
Postgraduate students was not be provided with a title but have to read the project proposal and then based on their interests and previous degree knowledge, decide on a title which will fit into the scope of the study. Successful candidates received a scholarship of R40 000 for Masters and R60 000 for PhD (funding which is covered by this part of the project and which was budgeted for levitra dosage under HCD). This was a once-off funding model to cover their running costs for travel and data collection, proof reading and binding.
Currently two Postdocs from Unisa are collaborating (but not funded) on the project from Unisa as part of the Meraka, Unisa and Monash MoA. Their research focuses on specific data analysis tools and support on mathematic modelling.
Other researchers involved
The following are researchers who will do data collection and share their results with the project team but are not funded. However their contributions will add value to the impact of the project. They are:
Jaco Renken – PhD candidate from University of Manchester. His research focus on ICT4D models and theories.
Mike Kwet – PhD candidate in Sociology at Rhodes will also do his research on the project and will focus on empowering women in ICT and on access to knowledge.
Laurenz Langer PhD candidate at University of Johannesburg. The core of his PhD research investigates the application of mobile learning as a tool for international development; and whether mobile learning in this context is adequately conceptualised at the moment. He is from the Centre for Anthropological Research, Evidence-Informed Policy Team (Africa Evidence Network) at UJ.
SAP research who as a team will focus on management and administration systems as a proof of concept environment for the public cloud infrastructure that is being developed by Meraka.
Desired outcomes of the research and HCD on ICT4RED project
The following are desired outcomes:
- Methodological framework of research conducted at Cofimvaba;
- Track record of all published research papers and results on this project;
- Evidence of students completing their degrees and adding value to the HCD component of this country;
- Published peer reviewed papers with teachers of Cofimvaba as possible co-creators/authors with students;
- Research results at postgraduate level which can be used for reporting and for M&E purposes and to add value to other components of this project;
- Greater awareness of the value of the project to replicate model in other provinces or areas;
- Ensure that ethical requirements are met and adhered to by all involved;
- Development of teachers in Cofimvaba based on their involvement in research with students and other researchers from the HEIs.