Reaching out: Prof Irwin Brown and a team of international information-system specialists played their part in setting up a doctoral programme in IS at Addis Ababa University.
Professor Irwin Brown of the Department of Information Systems is part of the international team that has been hailed by the Association for Information Systems (AIS) for its contribution to build research capacity at Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia.
In a recent newsletter, the AIS feted the team - Brown and a group of mostly US-based information-systems (IS) scholars - that had a hand in drawing up and teaching on the AAU's new doctoral programme in information systems.
At a planning meeting at AAU in 2008, Brown shared insights on the UCT IS department's successful Centre for IT and National Development in Africa (CITANDA) research initiative, and its input into the UCT IS doctoral programme. He spoke specifically of issues such as curricula, readings, supervisory capacity, throughput, and funding.
The AAU's coursework-and-dissertation programme is slightly different from the UCT dissertation-only information-systems PhD, but can hold its own, says Brown. "The IS modules at AAU are thorough and of high quality, and are presented by some of the top researchers in the IS field."
Brown returned to AAU in 2009 to lead one of the programme's core modules in information systems - specifically on systems thinking and sustainability - and will do so again in 2010.
The AAU's PhD is a strategic initiative to retain IS professionals in Africa, an issue of particular concern to the AIS.
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