Visiting Scholar at Harvard University

The PI of the project, Prof. Jo Helle-Valle, has recently moved to Harvard University as a Visiting Scholar. The affilation will last until August 2017. Apart from working on data analysis of fieldwork material from Botswana, and manuscripts of various kinds, he will also be able to benefit from the exciting and vibrant academic mileu of Department of African and African American Studies at the African Studies Center.

Jean Comaroff, Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology, Oppenheimer Fellow in African Studies, is affiliated to mediafrica. Her extraordinary competence on Southern Africa, and South Africa in particular, is an invaluable asset for the project.

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Arrivals: the less innocent anthropologist

Arrivals: the less innocent anthropologist

Arrival at a new field site is for the ethnographer often characterized by an overwhelming amount of practical activities towards answering questions like these: Where am I? Do I live here? How do I protect my body and my equipment (and in the long term my mind) from the weather/wild animals/destruction by ritual sacrifice/theft? Can I sleep safely? Do I need to get around? How do I get around? Who do I talk to? How do I address them? How do I respond without facing sanctions? What is dangerous? What is safe? What is good?

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Innovative uses of our project's homepage

Informing the public about a research project, as well as keeping interested individuals and organisations oriented about the project’s ongoing activities are the principal functions of a project home page. These are important functions but not the only uses such pages can be put to. In Mediafrica we have taken the homepage’s functionalities a couple of steps further: First, we have now used it to launch a web survey in Botswana. And we have also opened the project's Facebook page as a platform for data collection.

On February the 19th 2016 we launched – with the very good help of Niels Theissen, the project's web editor – a survey by way of the homepage and our accompanying Facebook page. Such a task is not a walk in the park and a great deal of work was put into it. For one, the technical side must be functional and reliable; we must be sure that those taking part access the questionnaire and can complete it without much ado. Moreover, as it is a survey about and for people in Botswana we needed to make sure it only reached those living in Botswana.  It was also important that the questionnaire was designed and presented in ways that met sound methodological standards. And last, but not least, we needed to make the survey known and desirable to take part in. Two strategies were chosen; prizes were set up (three nice tablets) and solid PR. In addition to promoting the survey on Facebook, and making it public on the University of Botswana’s Blackboard, we chose to approach the largest privately owned radio station in Botswana, the Gabz FM. They met us with great enthusiasm. We wish to thank them for their very positive and creative response. Not only were they willing to give us airtime – on three different occactions actually – but they also gave advice to how to best promote the survey.

In addition, in order to spur the interest of possible respondents we launched 'teaserquestions' on our Facebook page every day for three weeks prior to the opening of the survey. The response to these questions have proved to be an interesting source of data for the project.

 As it is now nearing its closing date (18th of March), we can surely conclude that the web survey has been a great success. A lot of work has been put into it (and some trial and error) but it now seems that we will receive more than a thousand responses. Too early, of course, to say anything about the content but we look forward in anticipation to sit down and analyse the results. 

Web survey on new media and development in Botswana launched today

With strong support from Gabz FM we have launched a web survey on new media and development in Botswana. All Botswana residents are invited to take part, it will be open until the 18th of March and it takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. By taking part you give your contribution to a better understanding of how new media influence the development of Botswana. In addition you might be among the three lucky winners of a Lenovo tablet (Tab 2 A7 - 10). 

The winners will be drawn on air, by Petula and Gabriel!, on the 21st of March, and if possible they will call you up and congratulate you. Nice, eh?

Get started on the questionnaire today! 
http://www.mediafrica.no/survey

Invite your friends to participate in the questionnaire: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1518708148424209/

Household survey completed in Kweneng West Sub-District

A survey consisting of 200 household- and 200 individual questionnaires (stratified randomly sampled) was started late January 2016 and completed 12th of February the same year in the village of Letlhakeng (which harbours approx. 1000 households and 8000 inhabitants). A couple of hundred questions spanning from general background information to specific ownership and use of new media were presented to the selected villagers. In addition almost 900 pictures were taken of the households that consented to this. Six enumerators were recruited locally. Some with completed Form 5-education and some not so much. But all proved highly competent and made did a great job. 

Thank you to all six for your splendid contributions: Mary Gobadileng, Vollie Kebainee, Boemo Keoepile, Sylvia Obakeng, Elisa Phokeng and Sedilane Segwagwa.

Thank you to all six for your splendid contributions: Mary Gobadileng, Vollie Kebainee, Boemo Keoepile, Sylvia Obakeng, Elisa Phokeng and Sedilane Segwagwa.

Project meeting with Botswana partners at University of Botswana

Project meeting with Botswana partners at University of Botswana

On tuesday oct 27th, PI Prof Jo Helle-Valle, Oslo University College and Ardis Storm-Mathisen from University of Oslo, met withHead of Sociology Department,  Head of Sociology Department, Professor M. Mogalakwe and Dr. Gabriel Faimau to discuss and prepare for the ICT/media-use survey to be conducted in Gaborone households before Christmas.

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Mobile phones as devices for caring in DR Congo

Mobile phones as devices for caring in DR Congo

What kinds of access do elderly people in Kinshasa (DRC) have to new media, and in particular, to mobile phones? Surprisingly, instead of children providing their elderly parents with such devices, it is grandchildren who facilitate access, but sometimes in troubling ways. 
 

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