Friday, 14 November 2014

Paper presented at the African Cyber Citizenship Conference

Professor Backhouse attended the African Cyber Citizenship Conference (ACCC2014) held in Port Elizabeth on the 5th and 6th November. 

She presented a paper written jointly with Prof Cohen, examining the ways in which information systems researchers define Smart Cities and how African cities are interpreting these definitions. The paper is titled "What is a Smart City for information systems research in Africa? Review protocol and initial results."

The African Cyber Citizenship Conference is a multi-disciplinary conference that brings together researchers in philosophy, psychology, information systems, law and other disciplines to debate issues related to “Cyberspace and its impact on society”. 

Stakeholder Workshop, October

Prof Cohen introduces the project
On the 8th October the project hosted a workshop with stakeholders to report on our research for 2014 and get input into our agenda for 2015. The workshop was attended by representatives from the City of Johannesburg Group ICT and Information Management, City of Johannesburg Library and Information Services, Joburg Water, and the Gauteng City Regional Observatory, among others.  

Information Systems Honours students Candice Visser, Jason van Staden and Omar Ally presented their research results. Professor Backhouse presented research into how smart cities are being defined by researchers and by cities in Africa.

There was lively discussion of the student’s research results which included analyses of what residents view as important to them as well as their views of the city’s performance in these areas. This analysis makes it possible to identify areas where the city needs to prioritize service improvements, because they are really important to residents. It also makes it possible to identify areas in which the city is performing really well, but are perhaps areas that residents do not really value. This kind of research makes it possible to better target the use of resources. 

Delegates listen attentively as Ms Mpendulo of the City of Johannesburg
Library and Information Services makes a point
Stakeholders at the workshop gave input into areas that need further exploration and made generous offers of assistance in accessing information for ongoing research.