Flitsch Beckmann

Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Institut für » Völkerkundemuseum » Prof. Dr. Mareile Flitsch » Flitsch Beckmann

Completed research project

Title / Titel Disability and Technology in Uganda from Local and Global Perspectives
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Original title / Originaltitel Behinderung und Technologien in Uganda: lokale und globale Perspektiven
Summary / Zusammenfassung Today it is commonly assumed that Western technological aid for people with disabilities in developing countries leads to an improvement of their situation. Wheelchairs, hearing aids and other assistive technologies are seemingly widely distributed. Meanwhile, researchers are increasingly alert of the fact that the actual appropriation of assistive technologies – developed for people with disabilities in Western countries and exported to developing countries – frequently leads to unforeseen and often severe consequences such as secondary disabilities. Furthermore, existent competences of people with disabilities in dealing with technologies are usually disregarded, leaving potentially highly promising solutions unutilized.
The young researchers involved in this proposed project have done extensive field research with people with disabilities in Uganda and wish to address the urgent issue of disability and technology in developing countries to propose feasible local solutions with global reach. The transnational and interdisciplinary project seeks to intensively analyze the role, impact and potential of technologies for the lives of people with disabilities in Uganda. Focusing on three major problem fields – transport, communication and rehabilitation – we hypothesize that technologies are too often inappropriate and insufficiently embedded within the social and physical environment on site. Within a holistic perspective on disability we focus on the enhancement of competences and skills, local adaptation and appropriation of technology. The production of genuine knowledge as well as of models of knowledge distribution and educational advertising will be based on extensive empirical research in a participatory development approach. The goal is to develop theoretical concepts and practical strategies which can ultimately support the development of locally applicable and sustainable ways for people with disabilities in developing countries to use, develop and appro- priate technologies.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe anthropology of technology, disability studies, disability, technology, Uganda, Africa, impairment, transport, rehabilitation, communication
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Mareile Flitsch (Project Leader)
Gitte Beckmann (Project Leader)
Marie Schuler
Raphael Schwere
Francesca Rickli Francesca Rickli/at/UZH@UZH
Andrea Müller
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Programm NFP), Foundation, Others
SNF r4d, Nord-Süd Kooperation der Universität Zürich
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Dr. Herbert Muyinda
Child Health and Development Centre
Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Dr. David Kyaddondo
Department of Social Work and Social Administration, School of Social Science
Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Feb 2014 to Jan 2017