Exploring Tech Solutions for we-DELIVER

07 Apr 2017

The main objective of we-DELIVER is to develop information and communication solutions (ICTs) to disseminate information about services and resources available to older people (> 60 years). This is not a straigh-forward task as many of our older people have a variety of challenges related to the use of ICTS. They may, for example, have poor eye-sight, older cellphones (as opposed to smart phones), no access to computers or the Internet, limited knowledge of how to find information on the Internet, limited means to afford data, to mention just a few challenges. Choosing a suitable ICT solution (or solutions) through which we-DELIVER will be “delivering” the information gathered through the research process is thus critical to the success of the project and ultimately to improving the lives of our older citizens.

Through colleagues in the open science community, we learned about an organisation called Code4SA (their name recently changed very aptly to OpenUp). OpenUp is, in their own words, a non-profit civic technology lab who uses data and technology to promote informed decision-making that drives social change. From the get-go it sounded like people we should speak to since they share the values of openness and change-making with the project team.

Meeting with OpenUp at Codebridge, Cape Town

On 3 April 2017 Prof Vera Roos (we-DELIVER project lead), Anelda van der Walt (eResearch Consultant), and Juan Steyn (Project Technology Lead), met with the director of OpenUp, Adi Eyal, at their offices in Cape Town at Codebridge. The meeting was very productive and many potential opportunities for collaboration even beyond we-DELIVER were identified. The initial conversation will be followed-up by a visit from Adi to the NWU to meet with other project stakeholders as well as other researchers and students. Adi will be hosting a short session on Data-driven Story Telling at the NWU later this year.

We are also planning to meet with Dr Fanie Hattingh, HSA founder, and Mark Rundle from Health Solutions Africa (HSA). HSA applies innovative technology solutions specifically in the health care sector and have a great team of technical experts, engineers, programmers and designers who develop their systems.

we-DELIVER continues to explore opportunities for collaboration with technology developers across the country to develop a suitable solution for the project and will be reporting back on the results in the third quarter of 2017.