Data Science for Social Impact

Research Group @ University of Pretoria


We are the Data Science for Social Impact research group at the Computer Science Department, University of Pretoria. Assoc. Professor Vukosi Marivate, the ABSA UP Chair of Data Science, is the principal investigator.

Our general areas of work straddle Data Science for Society as well as Local Language Natural Language Processing. These two strands are complementary. Our work in Data Science and Society has allowed us to have a more nuanced approach to understanding the systematic challenges that face being able to do excellent science with local languages. Through Data Science for Society, we have to understand how when one carries through Data Science research, we situate how the users are part of the process. We find that we need to adjust our research to take care of these challenges and innovate in ways we gather direct data or alternative data.

For us, Data Science for Society means being able to improve approaches/methods or scientific tools for DS while enhancing the ways decision-makers can use the insights that come from these tools. Local Language Natural Language Processing is focused on ways to develop new tools, new data and methodology to improve the state of African languages.

Research Themes

- Machine Learning [ML]
- Natural Language Processing [NLP]
- Social Media [SM]
- Society [Soc]
- Web Technologies [WT]

Project Highlights

- Masakhane Translate
- Masakhane NLP
- Coronavirus, COVID 19 ZA Dashboard
- COVID 19 ZA Data Repository
- See the projects tab for more
- Recent Publications
30 May 2023

NSTF-South32 Awards 2022/2023 Finalist Announcement

We are pleased to announce that the Coronavirus COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) Data Repository for South Africa project led by the Data Science for Social Impact (DSFSI) Research Group at University of Pretoria is a finalist for the NSTF-South32 Awards 2022/2023