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Disability and Technology in Uganda from Local and Global Perspectives

English title Disability and Technology in Uganda from Local and Global Perspectives
Applicant Flitsch Mareile
Number 147350
Funding scheme r4d (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development)
Research institution Völkerkundemuseum Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Ethnology
Start/End 01.02.2014 - 31.07.2017
Approved amount 495'580.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Ethnology
Social work
Sociology

Keywords (17)

Discrimination through inappropriate technologies ; Poverty reduction; Technology; Stigma; Technology transfer; Assistive Technology; Technology appropriation; Disability; Participatory development; Anthropology; Skill and competence enhancement; Uganda; Communication; Rehabilitation; Transport; Uganda; Africa

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Behinderung und Technologie in Uganda: lokale und globale PerspektivenDisability and Technology in Uganda from Local and Global Perspectives
Lay summary

Wie gehen Menschen mit Behinderung (MmB) in Uganda mit Technologien in den Bereichen Transport, Rehabilitation und Kommunikation um? Das Projekt verfolgt das Ziel, theoretische Ansätze sowie angewandte Konzepte und Modelle für eine lokale Technologie-Integration im Rahmen globaler Entwicklungsstratgien zu erarbeiten. Zusammen mit Interessengruppen, staatlichen Organisationen und NGOs sollen forschungsbasierte Ideen in Pilotprojekten umgesetzt werden.

In den Ländern des subsaharischen Afrika hingegen hat die Mehrheit der MmB nur einen beschränkten Zugang zu Technologien. Zudem sind diese nicht an die Gegebenheiten vor Ort angepasst. Durch die Analyse der Rollen, Auswirkungen, Potentiale von Technologien in Uganda werden soziale, ökonomische und politische Möglichkeiten und Räume, die sich MmB durch die Aneignung von Technologien schaffen, in den Vordergrund gestellt. Im Zentrum stehen Kompetenzen, Fertigkeiten und Kreativität von MmB im Umgang mit Technologien die, so die These, nicht nur in soziale, politische und wirtschaftliche Prozesse eingebunden, sondern erst durch diese Prozesse als solche definiert, angeeignet oder abgelehnt werden.

Die Forschungen verfolgen einen holistischen Ansatz mit Behinderung verstanden als körperliches und sozio-kulturelles Phänomen. Sie wird nicht als „Ausnahmezustand“ gesehen, sondern als integrative Erfahrung einer Gesellschaft.

Behinderung wurde als Querschnittsthema in die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit aufgenommen und wird als Ursache und als Auswirkung von Armut angesehen. Diese Ansätze berücksichtigen lokale Ansätze und Möglichkeiten nur ungenügend. MmB wird oftmals eine rein passive Rolle zugewiesen. Das Ziel des Projektes ist, Wissen über lokale Initiativen und Ressourcen unter der Berücksichtigung und Betonung von Fertigkeiten und Fähigkeiten von MmB zu generieren.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.01.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Department of Social Work and Social Administration/ Makerere University Uganda (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Child Health and Development Centre/ Makerere University Uganda (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen Denmark (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
German Anthropological Association Conference Talk given at a conference "I'm also a person with a disability" - Claims and complaints as practices of belonging in Kyangwali refugee settlement 07.10.2017 Berlin, Germany Schuler Maria-Theres;
7th European Conference on African Studies 2017 Talk given at a conference Food for the 'extremely vulnerable': Questioning categories and revisiting dependency 01.07.2017 Basel, Switzerland Schuler Maria-Theres;
7th European Conference on African Studies 2017 Talk given at a conference Appropriating rights: Deaf people in Acholiland, Northern Uganda 01.07.2017 Basel, Switzerland Beckmann Gitte;
Africanist Graduate Forum Talk given at a conference Disability & humanitarian assistance: On the significance of food aid 11.05.2017 Copenhagen, Denmark Schuler Maria-Theres;
American Anthropological Association Anual Meeting Talk given at a conference Unfolding Dynamics of Vulnerability Categories among People with Disabilities in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement 18.11.2015 Denver, United States of America Schuler Maria-Theres;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Disability and Technology in Uganda Field School 03.07.2017 Kampala, Uganda
Summer School 2016: Change and Continutity in Research and Practice with Focus on Disability and Technology 05.09.2016 Jinja, Uganda
Winter School 2016: Disability & Technology: Local and Global Perspectives 25.01.2016 Kalangala, Uganda
Summer School 2015: Connecting Basic and Applied research: Developing Theoretical and Methodical Concepts and Approaches for Applied Projects 16.08.2015 Kalangala, Uganda
Lecture: Community Based Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities 08.04.2015 College of Humanities and Social Science, Makerere University, Uganda
Winter School 2014: Research Methods Workshop 08.12.2014 ISEK-Ethnologie, Universität Zürich, Switzerland
Seminar: Disability in Local and Global Contexts 10.09.2014 Institute for Social Anthropology and Empirical Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Summer School 2014: Managing interdisciplinary and transnational PhD projects with special focus on selected qualitative methods 07.07.2014 Child Health and Development Centre, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Dissemination of Disability and Technology Research Findings Talk 27.07.2017 Kampala, Uganda Schuler Maria-Theres;
Skilling: Reducing Environmental Barriers Talk 02.12.2016 Annual Disability Forum, Adjumani, Uganda Schuler Maria-Theres;
Findings and Proposed Strategies of the "Market Based Solutions of the Extreme Poor" Research Project Workshop 15.07.2016 Kampala, Uganda Beckmann Gitte;
3rd Stakeholder Dialogue on Disability and Research Talk 12.04.2016 Kampala, Uganda Schuler Maria-Theres;
2nd Stakeholders' Dialogue on Disability and Research Talk 21.10.2015 Kampala, Uganda Beckmann Gitte;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
4th Stakeholder's Dialogue on Disability and Research 25.05.2017 Kampala, Uganda
3rd Stakeholder's Dialogue on Disability & Research 12.04.2016 Kampala, Uganda
2nd Stakeholder's Dialogue on Disability & Research 21.10.2015 Kampala, Uganda
1st Stakeholder's Dialogue on Disability & Research 02.07.2015 Kampala, Uganda

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Let's take care of the elderly among us New Vision International 2017
Media relations: radio, television Uganda's Refugee Policy for People with Disabilities Prime Radio Uganda International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media A National Day for the Senior Citizens in Uganda New Vision International 2016
Video/Film Aging and Disability; Challenges, Possibilities and the Role of Technology International 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Poster Presentation ‘Disability and Technology' at the International Day of Persons with Dis International 2016
Media relations: radio, television Live debate about the position of PwDs in relation to lived experiences in Uganda KFM Uganda International 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Relations between Disability and Technology International 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions The situation of Ugandan Deaf in accessing communication technologies International 2015
Media relations: print media, online media When information is hard to get Daily Monitor International 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Appliances; Customised to Users and the Environment Center for Disability and Rehabilitation Uganda International 2014
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Uganda special Website: www.selbstbestimmung.ch German-speaking Switzerland 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
159159 Successful Ageing - für alle? Eine ethnologische Studie zu Lebensrealitäten von alten Menschen mit Behinderungen in der Schweiz und deren Sicht auf positive Alter(n)sparadigmen 01.03.2015 Doc.CH
171725 Disability and Humanitarian Assistance - Negotiating Aid along Vulnerability Categories in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement 01.02.2017 Doc.Mobility

Abstract

Today it is commonly assumed that Western technological aid for people with disabilities in developing countries leads to an improvement of their situation. Wheelchairs, hearing aids and other assistive technologies are seemingly widely distributed. Meanwhile, researchers in the field of disability studies are increasingly alert of the fact that the actual appropriation of assistive technologies - developed for people with disabilities in Western countries and exported to developing countries - frequently leads to unforeseen and often severe consequences, even secondary disabilities. Furthermore, existent competences of people with disabilities in dealing with technologies are usually disregarded, leaving potentially highly promising solutions unutilized.The young researchers involved in this proposed project have done extensive field research with people with disabilities in Uganda and wish to address the urgent issue of disability and technology in developing countries to propose feasible local solutions with global reach. The proposed transnational and interdisciplinary project seeks to intensively analyze the role, impact and potential of technologies for the lives of people with disabilities in Uganda. Focus- ing on three major problem fields - transport, communication and rehabilitation - we hypothesize that technologies are too often inappropriate and insufficiently embedded within the social and physical environment on site. Within a holistic perspective on disability we focus on the enhancement of competences and skills, local adaptation and ap- propriation of technology. The production of genuine knowledge as well as of models of knowledge distribution and education will be based on extensive empirical research in a participatory development approach. The goal is to develop theoretical concepts and practical strategies which can ultimately support the development of locally applicable and sustainable ways for people with disabilities in developing countries to use, develop and appropriate technologies.
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