An explorative action research study toward the design of a digital knowledge organisation as part of an indigenous knowledge management system with a Herero community

Kapuire, Gereon Koch (2013)


Indigenous Knowledge Management Systems are being developed in order to preserve, process and retrieve knowledge. Unfortunately, most of the systems available do not take into account the different cultural ways of organising and sharing indigenous knowledge. Current technology trends and developments have hardly been informed by African indigenous and rural knowledge systems. Either substantial modifications are necessary in adapting technology to the requirements of indigenous knowledge systems, or those systems are inadequately represented through technologies. This dissertation explores different options for organising video recorded indigenous knowledge, in the pursuit of maintaining local communication patterns and practices. Furthermore, methodological perspectives on the challenges and aims of designing products suited to rural practices and conceptualisations in Southern Africa will be explored. We pursue an explorative study following and action research approach. The evolutionary design of our indigenous knowledge management system is informed by a series of interactions, reflections, discussions and prototype evaluations with a pilot community in Eastern Namibia. We have extracted themes out of the discussions and interactions to inform our design and the development of a digital knowledge organisation.