Join TASCHA researchers for a seminar on ICTs and development in Ghana

Interested in developing countries, information and communication technologies (ICTs), and culture? Are you a student at the University of Washington? If so, TASCHA Research Faculty Araba Sey and Researcher Chris Rothschild are leading a program this summer in Ghana that could be perfect for you and your education. This seminar focuses on research, development, communication, and technology.

Program description

If you’ve ever wondered whether information and communication technologies (ICTs) are really changing lives in African countries, this is an opportunity to find out for yourself. Learn how to design and carry out a research project to answer questions you have about the role of ICTs in socio-economic development, while also experiencing the realities of life in Ghana.

The “Experience Research” seminar will guide you to develop research skills by examining how people in different types of communities (urban and rural) use ICTs (defined broadly) in their daily lives. Access to ICTs in Ghana ranges from limited access in many rural areas to high access levels in urban areas comparable to major US cities. How can we understand people’s needs and resources across these diverse communities? What strategies do people in conditions of low access use to satisfy their information and communication needs and what are the outcomes for their livelihoods? Are these behaviors any different from those exhibited by people living under similar constraints in the US? Well-designed field research studies can provide insights on these and other questions.

You will select an ICT-related topic of interest to you, and receive personalized instruction and practical experience on using field research methods to explore that topic. Course readings, seminar discussions, data collection in the field, community service and observations around the country will not only expose you to the world of research, but will also give us fodder to interrogate our own definitions of development and how it can be attained.

This program is designed for students interested in international development, the spread of ICTs in low and middle-income countries, and/or learning about field research in developing countries. Past participants have come from a wide range of backgrounds including: Information Science, Communications, Human Centered Design and Engineering, International Studies, Public Administration, Health, and Political Science. You do not need to have research experience, and we welcome both graduate and undergraduate students.

Students will receive 5 credits (INFX 597 or INFO 497) and the course satisfies the research methods requirement for Informatics students (INFO 470) and qualifies as an elective for the International Development Certificate Program (IDCP).

Information sessions

  • Thursday, January 29, 12:30 – 1:30, Mary Gates Hall (MGH) 224
  • Wednesday, February 11, 12:30 – 1:30,  Mary Gates Hall (MGH) 173R


For more information and to apply, please visit the program website. Applications are due March 1, 2015. Any questions can be directed to Araba Sey at arabasey (at) uw (dot) edu or Chris Rothschild at chriskr (at) uw (dot) edu.