Researcher Profile: F. Ssozi-Mugarura

Fiona Ssozi-Mugarura

iCOMMS PhD Student | Email:​

I am a PhD student in the ICT for Development and HPI Research School in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town.



Co-Designing Community-based ICT interventions to Support Rural Water Management​

The proliferation of affordable Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) principally in the form of mobile phones has provided a platform for more affordable and sustainable information dissemination and communication to improve service delivery in underserved and remote areas like rural communities.  However, creating relevant ICT applications for rural communities is quite challenging due to a number of limiting factors such as lack of reliable communication infrastructure, remoteness, low literacy, political interference, culture of technology use and language barriers.

Traditional system development methodologies assume that end users can articulate their needs clearly, are similarly educated and are therefore only involved in the later stages of the development process. Designing technology that is locally relevant for rural communities requires the active participation of the people that have an understanding of the context. User centered design approaches like Co-Design allow for active engagement by not only giving rural technology users a voice in the development process, but a better understanding of the users’ knowledge and environmental aspects in their context that can easily affect the use and adoption of the developed intervention for the implementer. This study explores the application of co-design with rural communities to develop appropriate and sustainable ICT interventions (with a case study of Rural Water Supply Management in Uganda).



  1. Ssozi-Mugarura, F., Rivett, U., & Blake, E. (2016). Using Activity Theory to Understand Technology Use and Perception among Rural Users in Uganda. In Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development-ICTD ’16 (pp. 1–10). Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA: ACM Press.

  2. Ssozi-Mugarura, F., Blake, E., & Rivett, U. (2016). Supporting Community Needs for Rural Water Management through Community-Based Co-Design. In Proceedings of the 14th Participatory Design Conference - PDC’16 (pp.91-100), Aarhus, Denmark: ACM Press.

  3. Ssozi-Mugarura, F., Blake, E., & Rivett, U. (2015) Designing for sustainability: Involving communities in developing ICT interventions to support resource management. In IST-Africa 2015 Conference Proceedings, Lilongwe, Malawi, 6-8 May 2015. IMC International Information Management Corporation, ISBN: 978-1-905824-50-2.