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OXDEG: Researching with African techies

Date & Time:
16:30 - 18:00,
Wednesday 22 May, 2019


In 2010, a group of bloggers, developers, and designers in Nairobi, Kenya, formed one of the first physical spaces dedicated to supporting start-up entrepreneurs and programmers on the continent. The space was called the iHub, and through savvy PR and social media engagement and a compelling story about a “rising techie Africa”, it quickly positioned itself as a gateway between the fledgling tech entrepreneur community on the continent, and the international investors and entrepreneurs looking to engage.

Drawing from over three years of ethnographic engagement, including a year of participant observation as part of the iHub’s communications team and a constant mix of online and offline data collection techniques, this presentation will talk about some of the study’s stand out findings as well as its methodological approach. Research with a community whose members are hyper-connected and constantly engaged online, provides an important opportunity for testing out innovative approaches to ethnographic data collection, but also unique challenges that raise both logistical and ethical concerns worth exploring.

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  • Name: Dr Eleanor R Marchant
  • Affiliation: University of Oxford
  • Role: ConflictNET Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies
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