[SE19-ICT] Designing for Inclusion: Why Adaptive and Participatory Methods are Necessary

DAY 3 – Friday 29 June – 10:45-12:15

Swiss Tech | Room 2A | Level Garden 
Session Leader
Darelle Van Greunen
Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Darelle van Greunen is a Professor of IT and the Director of the Centre for Community Technologies at the Nelson Mandela University. She holds a PhD in Computer Science as well as degrees in Social Sciences. She specialises in user experience and using ICT as an enabler for societal issues in low-resourced areas. She has consulted extensively for the South African government as well as the ICT Industry organisations including SAP Research. She is also the principle investigator on several international grant funded projects.
Software resembles the structures of the organisations that create it. It has the potential to lock in structural inequalities. Participatory user centred design and iterative practices are essential for positive developmental outcomes. We will draw from our 14 years of experience of successes and failures to describe the challenges in making this happen in the development sector.
Panelists and Abstracts
From Spreadsheets to CRM Platforms: Building on Inclusive Organisational Development to Make Humanitarian Aid More Efficient
Richard Asbeck1, Lukáš Voborský2
1Caritas Switzerland, Lucerne.
2Caritas Switzerland, Beirut.
Presenting author’s email address: rasbeck@caritas.ch
Biography of Presenting Author: Richard Asbeck is the director of the Syria Crisis Response programme of Caritas Switzerland. The programme delivers humanitarian assistance in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan in cooperation with six local partners. Effectiveness within this programme is increased through the progressive introduction of ICT solutions, currently serving over 100’000 persons in need. Previously, Richard oversaw assistance programmes in Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Lebanon. He holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Economics, which he studied in Freiburg, Cairo and Aix-en-Provence.
Abstract: Caritas Switzerland (CACH) has a longstanding history of cooperation with partner organisations in the global south. Especially in the context of humanitarian crises, these partners’ structures tend to come under high pressure. In response, facilitating inclusive organisational development processes to build resilient and sustainable structures, supported by well-adapted ICT solutions, has become a corner stone of CACH’s work with local partners. Overall, this allows for more efficient, effective, personalised and transparent aid delivery as partners have the data required to avoid duplication of aid, tailor assistance to changes in humanitarian needs down to the level of the individual, and demonstrate how resources are allocated at any time. The example of CACH’s cooperation with Caritas Jordan, which hinges on a participatory, iterative and adaptive process, illustrates key recommendations to successfully develop and introduce such ICT solutions.
Mesh Networks for the Co-creation and Diffusion of Educational Content.
Jorge Romero1, Nelson Espíndola2
1National University of Colombia, Bogota D.C, Colombia.
2Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Presenting author’s email address: jaromeron@unal.edu.co
Biography of Presenting Author: Electronic Engineer, pursuing a master’s degree at the National University of Colombia. Member of the research group on technologies and innovation for community development. Social innovator with technology and free software. Currently researching low cost communication networks.
 This document describes the process of design and implementation of a wireless meshed network (MESH) in the D.E.I Marco Fidel Suarez, in Tunjuelito, Bogotá DC – Colombia. Some of the most relevant results that were obtained are listed, with respect to the stated objectives that comprehensively addressed the conceptual construction of the term Digital Divide, as an influential factor in the development of vulnerable communities. The description and empowerment of the territory through the use and access to information and communication technologies (ICT). The strengthening of skills and abilities in the youth population for the management and administration of computer and technological tools.
Low Technology Participatory Methodologies in Research and Advocacy for Making Cities Safer for Women
Chinmayi Swarna Jyothi Krishnaiah Setty1, Tania Devaiah1, Yugendran Muthuvel2
1The Bachchao Project, Goa, India
2The Bachchao Project, Bangalore, India
Presenting author’s email address: chinmayi@thebachchaoproject.org
Biography of Presenting Author: Chinmayi S. K. is a computer science engineer by qualification and the founder of The Bachchao Project, a community that works on the intersection of gender and technology. She previously worked as an engineer with Nokia and founded Saakshin, a software services start-up in Bengaluru, India.
Over the past four years, Chinmayi has been a pivotal part of several civil society projects to address gender and humanitarian issues. She supports the technical and policy needs of numerous organisations such as Internews, Safecity, Breakthrough, Flone and Geeks Without Bounds.
 Sexual violence in public spaces reduces women’s and girls movement. This hinders them from participating in work and public life. Many experts have acknowledged this. Though it is a serious problem the methods currently employed to record and mitigate this have been very limiting. Tackling crime in public spaces needs a multi-dimensional approach. In spite of several frameworks proposed by organisations including Safer Cities programme by UN Habitat, the adoption of these methodologies is low and most cities depend on traditional policing, making it an ineffective solution. This paper demonstrates the need of participatory low technology methodologies and their effectiveness with the case of study of the city of Panjim, India. We will also be sharing the methodology we have created and tested.
Scaling and Sustaining Participatory Approaches to Information & Communication Technology-Enabled Extension
Benjamin Fiafor1, Ian Pringle2, Rosemond Ohene1, Alfred Kojo Yeboah3, Mark Leclair2
1Farm Radio International Ghana, Accra, Ghana
2Farm Radio International, Ottawa, Canada
3Grameen Foundation Ghana, Accra, Ghana
Presenting author’s email address:bfiafor@farmradio.org
Biography of Presenting Author: Benjamin Fiafor has been the Ghana Country Director for Farm Radio International for the past ten years, managing various communication for development projects. The focus of Mr Fiafor’s work is scaling participatory ICT-enabled extension, particularly in the fields of agriculture and nutrition, and developing models and methods for sustainability. Prior to joining Farm Radio, he worked with Netherlands Development Organisation as Advisor-Local Governance and Basic Services. Benjamin holds a Masters in Development Studies from ISSER-University of Ghana, Legon.
 Farm Radio International (FRI) has developed a series of participatory outcome-oriented approaches to communication programming, including Participatory Radio Campaigns, Series, Radio Marketplace and Listening Post formats. Research findings indicate both increases in knowledge and uptake of good agriculture and nutrition practice. Scale has been achieved within specific geographies and program periods. The critical challenges that remain, achieving impact at scale and sustainably are the focus on the Scaling and Sustaining Participatory Approaches to Information & Communication Technology-Enabled Extension paper, which features research conducted as part of a recent project in Ghana. FRI, in collaboration with Grameen Foundation and with funding from Canada’s International Development Research Centre undertook a two-year research project entitled Achieving Impact at Scale (AIS) to promote agricultural extension services to Small Holder Farmer (SHF) through ICT enhanced radio services. AIS aims to promote sustainable access to quality agricultural extension services through radio and other ICT peripherals.
The specific objectives of this research project is to identify sustainable models for providing enhanced extension services to smallholders in Ghana. Secondly, to assess whether a 3rd party provider can sustain a process that uses direct-to-farmer channels and human agent networks to generate and realize economic value for private agribusiness clients and the smallholder’s farmer. Thirdly, to assess the level of adoption of improved seeds and other identified priority technologies. 
Co-created ICT interventions for socio-economic development – a practitioner’s view
Alida Veldsman1, Darelle van Greunen1
1Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Presenting author’s email address:Alida.Veldsman@mandela.ac.za
Biography of Presenting Author: Alida is a Development Practitioner with 15 years’ experience of working in and with communities, which includes managing socio-economic development projects in under-serviced communities and Living Labs of which some were donor and grant funded projects. This included community mobilization, facilitation, skills development, enterprise development, mentoring and coaching, incubation, business linkages, Change Management, monitoring and evaluation and Impact Assessment. Alida works as the Business Analyst in the Centre for Community Technologies ensuring that the end user community needs are met during the co-creation process of technology solutions.
 Much has been said about ICT interventions in developing countries and the billions it has cost governments, research initiatives, donor communities and others. It is easy to find research literature and practical examples of the countless initiatives that have failed and less that have succeeded. Different approaches were followed and different roads have been taken, with little success. The question remains why so many initiatives fail and so little succeed? What has been done differently? What indicates ‘failure’ and what indicates ‘success’ and for whom? This paper will endeavour to provide answers to the questions above, focusing on the co-creation or participatory design of technology interventions in remote and underserviced communities, using South Africa as an example of a developing region. It will discuss the challenges experienced from practitioners’ point of view before, during and after implementation as well as the problems that the communities experience.