Recent GIEP projects

South Africa - 2016

Haven Night Shelter

The Haven Night Shelter supports the social reintegration of homeless adults, serving 1,000 clients in 15 shelters at any given time in partnership with governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Students working with Haven will improve the group’s client registration system, which was put into place last year, and work to integrate it with confidential data while maintaining security.

Student participants: Brittany Hutson, Verena Getahun, Maria Medlarz, Bader Bajaber

View the project portfolio site.

The League of Friends of the Blind

The League of Friends of the Blind (LOFOB) serves Western Cape children, youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired. Services include education and early childhood development, independence and employment support, and socio-emotional aid.

One group of students at LOFOB will work with organization staff to survey, identify, protect and mobilize the largely unmanaged archival resources LOFOB has collected over its 83 years of operation. The other group will develop an integrated information management system and associated processes to streamline the management of mission critical information using the group’s current IT and infrastructure capabilities. They will also incorporate and integrate adaptive technologies for the use of LOFOB’s visually impaired staff.

Fellows (Archives project): Karen Fernandez, Tricia Chua, Erika Linenfelser

View the project portfolio site.  View the oral history project outcomes on Youtube.

Fellows (Systems project): Dalton Simancek, Meng Zhang, Kristyn Sonnenberg

View the project portfolio site.

UWC-Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archive

The Mayibuye Archive at the University of the Western Cape houses one of the largest and most important archives documenting anti-apartheid liberation struggles. The archive includes paper, film, video, oral history, art and other collections.  Students will work with staff to process materials while also developing an institutional archival processing manual with guidelines for future processing efforts.

Fellows: Eve Bourbeau-Allard, Aliza Elkin, Sarah Lebovitz 

View the project portfolio site.


Yabonga is an NGO serving South African families affected by HIV/AIDS in 12 township communities around Cape Town. Through support centers near local clinics, its staff works to enhance the lives and opportunities of more than 1,000 young people affected by HIV and adverse socioeconomic circumstances. Students working with Yabonga will create an information system that can identify, track and describe interactions and outcomes for the roughly 400 young people in the program in order to provide better longitudinal services and understanding.

Fellows: Lavanya Kumar, Ayshwarya Balasubramanian, Danielle Culberson, Shreyas Ramani

View the project portfolio site.

India - 2015

Nightingales Medical Trust - Eldercare (Bangalore)
The Eldercare team will develop a web portal for South Indian Elders, their families and elder care organizations. Currently, there is no comprehensive set of web resources for Indian elders with disease and illness. This web portal will serve as a central hub about elder care services and best practices, as well as encourage healthy living. The portal will focus on a question-and-answer feature, health-related articles, interactive elements (games or social media features), other resources provided by Nightingales Medical Trust and elder care organization listings.

Centre for Internet and Society - Edukitchen: Flexible Learning System (Bangalore)
Higher education in India is highly disciplinary, with both instructors and students feeling stuck teaching or studying subjects that are strictly focused on gaining a degree. To meet the need for passion-driven, non-utilitarian learning, the Edukitchen team will adapt an existing learning management system (LMS) to offer courses not found in the traditional university system. 

The team plans to develop an open online learning system offering experimental modes of instruction on topics of interest to the intellectually curious in India.  The team hopes to build a flexible learning environment that rethinks the traditional concept of education by offering rhizomatic and interwoven courses that will provide a model for learning beyond formal schooling.

Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS) & International Institute of Information Technology - Bangalore (IIIT-B)
The Urban Informatics Team aims to create transparency in the real estate market by mapping property prices in Bangalore. Currently, prices are not clearly represented to all interested buyers and researchers resulting in information disparities. Our team will allow users to visualize property data through a publicly accessible, web-based mapping system. Users may then visualize an area’s historical property prices to better determine potential purchase or selling prices. Although our focus will be on the administrative division of Kacharakanahalli, our robust database-driven mapping tool may be easily expanded to include additional areas of study.

Be Well Hospitals - Hospital Learning Management System (Chennai)
Our project will develop and implement a Learning Management System (LMS) for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of e-learning healthcare skills courses / training programs at Be Well and SMF Hospitals in Chennai, India. The learning modules will track the learner’s progress and performance, attendance at classroom-based lectures and allow for the students and supervisors to view learner outcomes at a cohort, department and individual level. The LMS will address the challenge of finding skilled healthcare workers by enabling skill development of staff at both hospitals and increasing access to healthcare information resources, which can improve efficiency and productivity in the delivery of care.

iKure - mobile Maternal-Child Health (Kolkotta)
India has the poorest Maternal-Child Health (MCH) indicators in South Asia, and access to adequate health care in rural settings is extremely difficult. Community Health Workers (CHWs) are an important part of the Indian health care system, bridging communication and service delivery between these rural communities and healthcare institutions. Our goal is to improve MCH in rural India using an SMS-enabled web service that can be used by CHWs to direct questions to medical providers (MDs) and potentially communicate with other CHWs to address important problems.  This pilot discussion forum will better inform how technology can support MD and CHW roles and reduce MCH-related disparities in rural India.

National Institute for Speech and Hearing - Library Management / Disability and Sport (Trivandrum)
The National Institute for Speech & Hearing in Trivandrum, Kerala is an administrative, educational and research center that focuses on the needs of people with disabilities, particularly in the areas of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology. NISH was also one of the programs included in the inaugural year of GIEP. This year, GIEP Fellows have been asked to work on two projects for NISH.

The first involves implementation of a new library system and the formalization of library collection and management procedures; this work will assist members of the NISH community in accessing more resources and position the institution to become a major research center. The second project involves the development of a resource that assists people with disabilities in becoming more involved in sporting events and activities. Ideally, this resource will aggregate accessibility information into a single resource for both site managers and site visitors, thereby encouraging the development of broad regulation and policy-making.

India - 2014

Hampi Arts Initiative - Jaaga Trust (Bangalore)
The Hampi Arts Initiative will survey, document, and archive the arts and crafts of the Hampi region in Karnataka with the goal of educating the community about Hampi’s rich cultural heritage. This project will be executed with U-M’s partner in India, Jaaga, who boasts a diverse community of entrepreneurs, activists, designers, and artists.

The team will design a rich web experience to engage the public and create a physically interactive installation piece that can travel to public education centers across the globe. This project aims to increase public awareness of Hampi crafts, ensure the region’s traditions are preserved, and push the limits of usual mediums (such as archival websites) to create an engaging experience for installation and website visitors.

Human Rights Law Support Network - Alternative Law Forum (Bangalore)
The Alternative Law Forum (ALF) provides direct legal services to marginalized communities and conducts research regarding a variety of human rights issues. The students involved in this project will collaborate with ALF to create a platform that will allow human rights lawyers across India to act as a support network for one another. This platform will allow lawyers to share existing resources and generate new resources. It will also seek to create an efficient and effective system for people who need legal services to connect with human rights lawyers in India. 

Disability Policy Analysis Web Resource - National Institute of Speech and Hearing (Kerala)
The National Institute of Speech and Hearing is dedicated to the rehabilitation of speech- and hearing-impaired persons across the state of Kerala. The institute’s goal is to make disability policy accessible to the community and Indian public. This project will identify disability policies in the United States and compare those to Indian disability policies. This research will lead to the creation of an accessible website outlining disability policies for a variety of audiences—from parents, to policymakers, to professionals. This research and website resource will lay the groundwork to improve Indian disability policy.

Visualizing India's Cities - The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (Bangalore)
This project will address the need for storing, analyzing, and disseminating data about India's urban centers by examining large data sets (such as Indian census data), extracting subsets relevant to Indian cities, and maintaining them in a repository. The project team will study how researchers might query these datasets and it will create a portal to allow the data to be queried, visualized, downloaded, and disseminated. The team will also provide recommendations for how the institute might expand this portal in the future to increase its holdings.

Harvesting Knowledge - Digital Green (New Delhi)
Harvesting Knowledge is a website consultation project for Digital Green's farming knowledge initiative.  This project seeks to research and design a training platform for the community knowledge workers in India's farming communities. Extensive research and interviews with current community workers will allow the project team to create a system that responds to the workers’ unique set of needs.

The training platform will include a user-friendly interface that can be accessed via multiple devices, with a design that will facilitate community organization through curated curriculum. The ultimate goal of this project is to create a system that can accomplish the accreditation of more than 10,000 community service workers.

Data Driven Healthcare - Quantiphi (Mumbai) and Aspada Investments (Bangalore)
This project will focus on delivering data-driven performance metrics and tools designed to improve the quality of care, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of programs in Be Well Hospitals, a chain of affordable, high-quality secondary care hospitals in underserved towns in South India. The project team will leverage the expertise of partner organizations Quantiphi, a data and analytics company focused on healthcare delivery, and Aspada Investments, an investment company with Be Well Hospitals in its portfolio.