fmeissner's picture
Full Name: 
Fritz Meissner
Academic Role: 
Masters Student
Email Address:

I supported an NGO by creating Internet systems to support their intermediation between high school students (from low income urban communities in Cape Town) and Internet career guidance content (e.g. bursary information or academic application forms from government or university websites). The existing Internet content was difficult for students to use, but in-person translation was not working because the NGO's staff power was limited. The counter-intuitive solution of creating Internet systems to solve problems with the Internet worked because the normal Internet takes a one-size-fits-all approach, while we could tailor content and technology to these students' specific resources. The NGO now captures appropriate content in a CMS, and the content can be exposed through whatever systems I build. The technology approach which has worked best so far is a service that students can query through mobile instant messaging services such as MXit or Google Talk.

  1. F. Meissner and E. Blake, “Availability4D: Refining the Link between Availability and Adoption in Marginalised Communities,” in Human-Computer Interaction–INTERACT 2013, Cape Town, 2013, vol. 1, pp. 762–779.
  2. F. Meissner and E. Blake, “Understanding culturally distant end-users through intermediary-derived personas,” in Proceedings of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT) Conference, Cape Town, 2011, pp. 314–317.
  3. F. Meissner and E. Blake, “Consequences of Software Design Decisions for Low-Income Communities: A Case Study,” in Proceedings of the Southern African Telecommunications Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC), 2011.
Telecommunications for Development