Digitizing Data and Social Change


Principal Investigators: Naydene De Lange, Claudia Mitchell, Jean Stuart, and Myra Taylor.

National Research Foundation

This project draws on the vast collection of visual data from the previous ‘Learning Together’ project (2004-2006). Its aim is to pilot the management, storing, and analysis of the collections of visual data, not only for researchers to access and use, but also to get the community, where the data originated, to access and use it to address HIV and AIDS-related issues. After being trained in Greenstone Software, Thoko Mnisi, an NRF funded M.Ed student supervised by Naydene de Lange, was assigned to build the digital archive, which is now hosted on the DISA (Digital Imaging South Africa) site (with restricted access). In 2009, the digital archive site was evaluated by Library and Information Technology students from McGill University (under the supervision of Prof. Eun Park), and the evaluation report was used to refine the digital archive. The archive has also provided Thoko Mnisi the opportunity to exmaine the digital archive about ‘stigma and HIV and AIDS’ with a group of teachers at two rural senior secondary schools. Thoko has submitted her work for examination and graduated in 2010. An article by De Lange, Mnisi, Mitchell & Park entitled: University-Community Partnerships in addressing HIV and AIDS through Building Digital Archives, has been published.  Furthermore, a paper was presented at the EASA conference at Illovo Beach in January 2009, ARV and ICT: Potential to save lives in the age of AIDS? and in Barcelona , Learning to use visual data to ‘save lives’ in the age of AIDS. This work has been published in Communitas, In March 2010 the Digital Futures symposium was held at Calderwood.

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