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Co-Design for Development: Lessons Learnt from an Information Systems Project in Underserved Communities

  • R. De la HarpeEmail author
  • M. Korpela
  • I. Van Zyl
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 223)

Abstract

This paper is a reflection on the lessons learnt during an information systems development for development (ISD4D) project in underserved community contexts. The level of participation of health intermediaries and community members is considered for the design of an mHealth application to facilitate access to relevant health information. The paper highlights two key aspects to be incorporated in the co-design of IS interventions, namely the importance of contextual factors and the dynamic nature of intermediaries’ work and life practices. Lessons learnt are organised according to the following components of an IS for societal development: people, information, technology, practice and purpose, context, and ethics. The key lesson derived is that IS design and development has to consider practices for a purpose. These are influenced by the context of development, the manner in which a community functions, the capabilities of community members, their literacy levels and cultural practices.

Keywords

Co-design User participation IS for development Design for development Underserved communities Participatory action research 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty Informatics and DesignCape Peninsula University of TechnologyCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.ComputingUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland

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