Three Researchers from @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, were selected to present their papers in the IST Conference 2017 held in Windhoek, Namibia. Tabitha Mberi, Tracy Weru and Lorna Mutegi presented their individual papers to an audience comprising of senior officials from both the public and private sectors in education and research; Innovation stakeholders from Namibia, the European Commission, the African Union Commission, Southern African Development Community, Ubuntu Alliance among others. There were over 150 presentations from 36 countries.
L-R; Lorna Mutegi, Tracy Weru and Tabitha Mberi
Tabitha’s paper themed:”Challenges to the Successful Implementation of E-Government Systems in Developing Countries: A Case of Taita Taveta, Kenya “was on work that @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University continues to implement in Taita Taveta County. Tabitha’s research looked at how devolvement of government from local authorities to county governments in Kenya has resulted in many counties adopting online revenue collection systems with the aim to improve public sector services and deliver them in an effective and efficient manner. Her study assessed the various challenges that the team has faced in implementing the system which range from lack of trust of e-government systems by citizens, lack of infrastructure servicing by the county government, failure to follow procedures by system users among other reasons
Lorna’s paper, titled “Unlocking the Supply of Open Government Data for SDGs: A Case of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)” focused on demand for data-for-development to support and monitor a country’s progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a rising global need. Lorna’s paper illuminates on a model for unlocking the supply of Open Government Data (OGD) for monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs based on a project that Strathmore University, through @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, is currently working on in partnership with The World Bank and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). The model informs on the benefits of utilizing a quadruple helix model (public/private/research/civil society) in an OGD initiative, to unlock quality, timely and reliable government data to support and measure SDGs and other national development goals.
Tracy presented her paper titled “Cyber-Smart Children, Cyber-Safe Teenagers: Enhancing internet Safety for Children“. Child Online Protection is a hard and tricky concern that requires multi-national efforts if it’s to be successfully tackled in the near future. This is mainly due to the exponential growth in smart devices. Providing a safe environment requires an in-depth understanding of the types and prevalence of online risks young Internet users face, as well as of the solutions most effective in mitigating these risks. To be able to get the right information on protecting children and teenagers there is need of an Internet Safety awareness program that will build a generation of responsible digital citizens whose online behaviour demonstrate media literacy, ethics, safety and security.The paper presented by Tracy Nyatoro Weru proposes the development of a mobile based game application based on child online protection that will provide a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive and extremely effective.
The IST Africa Conference provides a platform to strengthen Information Society, ICT and Innovation related policy dialogues both within Africa and between Africa and Europe, through Plenary Sessions, the rich thematic knowledge exchange facilitated by Scientific Programme and co-located multi-lateral (eg. JEG8, eu-Africa HLPD on STI) and private bi-lateral meetings. (Source: IST Africa).
Participation in the IST Africa 2017 conference continues to contribute to @iLabAfrica’s- Strathmore University exploitation and research and innovation strategy. In addition, the networking opportunity will continue to help build the research Centre ties with leading Public, Private, Education, and Research organizations from more than 39 countries who took part in the conference.
The Falling Walls Lab is a challenging interdisciplinary platform that allows innovators in various fields to present their breakthroughs, that is research work, business ideas and initiatives in 3 minutes. The first Walls Lab in East Africa took place on September 13, 2016 at the Goethe-Institute Nairobi.Lorna Mutegi, @iLabAfrica Project Coordinator had the pleasure of presenting her research work whose topic was‘BREAKING THE WALL OF IT Security Service Commoditization’ among 12 other participants from Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.
Lorna is grateful for the opportunity to take part in the first Falling Walls Lab in East Africa. It was a unique nerve-cracking experience as it builds the art of ‘3-minutes Idea Definition’ to a top class jury from academia, research institutions and business and to an audience of industry experts.
It was great to connect with other young innovators, researchers, excellent scientists, and professionals from a diverse range of fields. Lorna encourages more researchers in academia, staff and students alike, to apply for the next call of the Falling Walls Lab.
In seeking to solve the challenges of traditional assessment methods for large classes, Strathmore University’s Delphine Mukandutiye, explored research in the use of e-assessment which guarantees to reduce lecturers’ burden in terms of marking assessments and giving feedback to students, reduce costs incurred by the University in terms of managing CATs and offer a richer experience to students who are familiar with e-Learning for consumption of learning materials.
In her research findings, she discovered that e-assessment was better than traditional assessment; students performed better and they were happy with instant feedback, lecturers spent more time setting up CATs but enjoyed the automated marking, easier analysis of the results and faster generation of necessary reports. By adoption of such a system, the University could save a considerable amount of money by implementing e-assessment. The success of this research resulted in the establishment of an eLearning Support Centre that was established to spearhead e-assessment, e-feedback and mobile learning in Strathmore University.
For this research paper, Delphine has subsequently been awarded a grant by Kenya Education Network (KENET) to enable her present a paper at the IST Africa 2014 Conference that will be held in Mauritius, from 6th to 9th May, 2014. Delphine’s paper entitled “E-assessment Implementation in Strathmore University” will be presented in the Technology Enhanced Learning session. The IST Conference provides a platform to strengthen Information Society, ICT and Innovation related policy dialogues within Africa and between Africa and Europe.
Delphine Bheny Mukandutiye is a Research Assistant at @iLabAfrica and Masters Scholar at the Safaricom Academy. Her research was part of her Master’s thesis under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Sevilla, a Senior Lecturer and Director of @iLabAfrica. @ILabAfrica is a research and innovations lab in Strathmore’s Faculty of Information & Technology.