Call for Applications

Theme: Designing With or For Marginalised Communities
Date:  November 26, 2018 – December 2, 2018
Venue: Namibia University of Science and Technology (NBII Village), Windhoek, Namibia

We invite applications for the ACM SIGCHI Sponsored Summer School to be held ahead of AfriCHI 2018.  The summer school welcomes post-graduate students, academics, and selected industry practitioners for hands-on training on HCI concepts, techniques and research methods. The 2018 summer school will take place over seven days before the second AfriCHI conference ( The school includes teaching, mentoring and taking the participants on a field trip to an existing research partner community in an informal settlement in Windhoek.

The organization of the school is a joint effort by the Namibian Windhoek ACM SIGCHI  chapter, the Kenyan Wananchi ACM SIGCHI chapter, the Egyptian CairoCHI chapter, and South African Protea ACM SIGCHI chapter. The school mentors are local researchers from the four African SIGCHI chapters, who will share their expertise working with various African communities. The summer school will be hosted by Namibia University of Science and Technology.

14 participants will be selected. The following groups are eligible to apply:

  • International Masters and PhD students
  • Faculty/early career researchers from African countries
  • Industry practitioners from African countries

Applicants should be studying towards or working on Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI), User Experience (UX) or other human factors related work, and interested in learning about designing with and for marginalised communities.

Application Process
Participants need to apply by submitting a maximum of four pages in SIGCHI Extended Abstracts format that includes a short bio, a description of their research or work practice, and a statement describing their interest to participate and how the Summer School will be relevant and beneficial to their work in the future, e.g., how the specific topics can be incorporated into teaching plans or new courses developed.

The application must be sent to Dr Shaimaa Lazem <>

Summer School Costs and Fees Support
Registration costs are a discounted rate of US$200 per participant. Up to five SIGCHI sponsored scholarships will be available for African faculty/early career researchers (up to a maximum of US$1200 each to cover their registration, travel, accommodation, and per diem expenses. Coffee/ tea breaks and lunches will be provided by the host institutions. More information about available will be available on the conference website.

Please indicate on your application if you require funding to attend the summer school, providing justification for the funding request. You should also provide a budget indicating estimated costs. All the subsistence up to the maximum fund for the award recipient is reimbursed by receipts and following ACM processes for reimbursement (

Graduate students could apply for Gary Marsden Student Development Fund to attend the school. Students who are selected to attend (and be provided a fee waiver) must be SIGCHI members prior to the event itself.

Please note that the school fees does not include registration for AfriCHI.

Important Dates

  • Call for application: July 22, 2018
  • Deadline for Applications: August 30, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: September 25, 2018
  • Summer School Dates: November 26 – December 2, 2018

School Program
For four days, the participants will learn about basic HCI concepts through lectures, case studies, and selected readings. The topics are: ethnography and fieldwork, HCI research techniques including quantitative and qualitative methods, design and prototyping, usability and user experience testing techniques, and ethics in community research.

The four condensed days will have a fixed structure. The morning sessions will consist of lectures, and a case study discussion that is introduced by one of the school mentors. On the first afternoon the participants will meet invited marginalised community members to get a first impression and guide further application of theoretical knowledge.  The other afternoon sessions, the participants will be divided into groups, each one mentored by a school speaker. Groups will read and discuss papers related to the morning topic. The days will conclude with a debriefing session, where each group will share its thoughts and comments about the readings.

The fifth day will be a joint field trip to a research site in Namibia. The participants will be engaged in activities and guided to use the trip to reflect on what they learned and read so far. Additionally, the participants will be asked to develop ideas during the first five days for a final school project with guidance from school mentors.

The last two days of the school the participants will work closely with their mentors on their selected projects. The project outcomes will be presented and discussed in the afternoon of the last day.

Organisers and Mentors

  • Melissa Densmore, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Anicia Peters, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia
  • Shaimaa Lazem, City of Scientific Research and Technology Applications, Egypt
  • Kagonya Awori, Safaricom PLC, Kenya
  • ‘Maletšabisa Molapo, IBM Research, South Africa
  • Hafeni Mthoko, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia

Contact Information
For questions, please contact Dr Maletšabisa Molapo <>

All international participants not residing in Namibia do need valid visas to enter the country. Please contact hjazri[at] for further information.