Participatory Design in the Developing World: Issues and opportunities from case studies of adapting Nordic participatory approaches to a South African context

Jörn Messeter, Hester Claassen, Craig Finnan

Publikation: Konferencebidrag - EJ publiceret i proceeding eller tidsskriftPaperForskningpeer review


In the field of participatory design originating in Scandinavia, where approaches are developed for actively engaging local stakeholders in change processes, a major part of the research has been confined to Western contexts. The need to study participatory design in broader settings outside Western organisations has been stressed in the research community over the last decade, but later research indicates that still relatively few studies are done in developing countries. Researchers recognise that participatory design approaches cannot simply be transferred to developing country settings as there are numerous challenges for enabling participation, e.g. power distance, cultural barriers, low educational levels and geographical distances. However, participatory design offers substantial opportunities for developing countries, regarding empowerment in local communities and democratisation of change processes. Arguably, the appropriation of participatory design approaches and methods to developing world settings is an important priority in research cooperation between Nordic and Southern African universities. This work presents issues and opportunities for introducing participatory design in a South African context, based on two case studies. In the first case, concepts for new information technology were developed for a small-scale wine farm in the Western Cape, engaging multiple stakeholders on the farm. In the second case, hyper-local storytelling distributed through Bluetooth technology was explored in a socially challenged suburb in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town. Issues on appropriation of strategies and methods for participation are discussed, and directions for further research in the field are identified.
StatusUdgivet - 2012
BegivenhedSANORD International Symposium 2012 (South African-Nordic Centre) - Lakeside Lecture Theatres, Aarhus University, Denmark, Aarhus, Danmark
Varighed: 5 jun. 20127 jun. 2012
Konferencens nummer: 3


KonferenceSANORD International Symposium 2012 (South African-Nordic Centre)
LokationLakeside Lecture Theatres, Aarhus University, Denmark


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