Posts Tagged ‘ICT4D’

LUCI is doing: Designing Development in India - May 5th, 2011

Designing Development in India

Designing Development in India

What has LUCI been up to recently?

Designing Development in India

“User experience” has its roots in technology design and HCI, but designers are now being called to bring methods such as usability, contextual inquiry, and personas to bear on problems such as safe water access, poverty, and even sanitation. Through detailed ethnography, this project asks, broadly, what are the cultural impacts and values of HCI. By examining a range of design practices in the Indian context – including rural and low-income participatory design, DIY and maker spaces to support creative practice, and contextual inquiry for development design problems – this project examines the cultural and epistemological commitments of design culture and methods. By studying design practice in India, we cast cast the competing meanings and values of user-centered design everywhere into sharp relief.

More info

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Posted: 5/5/11 10:00 am PDT by Comments Off
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UCI Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion’s CfP 2011-2012 - July 13th, 2010

Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion

Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion

The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine is soliciting proposals for original scholarly research on mobile money services to promote savings and other forms of value storage at scale for the developing world. As mobile money services are deployed around the world, they interact with longstanding, often ancient monetary cultures and practices. The Institute seeks to understand people’s diverse monetary ecologies and repertoires as they navigate new means of saving and transferring wealth.

via IMTFI’s Call for Proposals for Research 2011-2012 | UCI IMTFI Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion.

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Posted: 7/13/10 10:42 pm PDT by Comments Off
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Nithya Sambasivan Advances to Candidacy - March 3rd, 2010

Beneficiary User

Beneficiary User

Congratulations to Informatics Ph.D. Student Nithya Sambasivan for passing her advancement to candidacy exam!

Committee: Bonnie Nardi (chair), Ed Cutrell (Microsoft), Bill Maurer, Donald Patterson, Alladi Venkatesh

Intermediated Technology Use in Developing Communities

Abstract: We describe a prevalent mode of information access in low-income communities of the developing world intermediated interactions. They enable persons for whom technology is inaccessible due to non-literacy, lack of technology-operation skills, financial constraints and so on, to benefit from technologies through digitally skilled users thus, expanding the reach of technologies. Reporting the results of our ethnography in two urban slums of Bangalore, India, we present three distinct intermediated interactions: inputting intent into the device in proximate enabling, interpretation of device output in proximate translation, and both input of intent and interpretation of output in surrogate usage. We present some requirements and challenges in interface design of these interactions and explain how they are different from direct interactions. We then explain the broader effects of these interactions on low-income communities, and present some implications for design.

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Posted: 3/3/10 10:34 am PDT by Comments Off
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Engineers Race to Restore Communications after Haiti Quake - January 21st, 2010

Photo courtesy of Flickr:GAIN USA

Below is an excerpt from an interesting article about the race to restore network connectivity in Haiti. A few interesting points: There is one undersea cable out of Haiti. Because of that ISPs were already using satellite. First responders brought network with them. The effort now is on expanding access to net to everyone.

“Late last week, the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union dispatched engineers to assess the damage to telecom infrastructure along with 100 satellite terminals—and the personnel to operate them—in an effort to help coordinate rescue efforts. According to a press release, “ITU will also set up a Qualcomm Deployable Base Station (QDBS), a reliable, responsive and complete cellular system designed to enable vital wireless communications aimed at strengthening response and recovery mechanisms in a disaster zone.”

Read more:
IEEE Spectrum

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Posted: 1/21/10 9:14 am PDT by Comments Off
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A Case Study in Designing for African AIDS Orphan Care Communities - December 18th, 2009

Moleskins and Pens

Congratulations to Informatics faculty members Don Patterson and Susan Sim, and former Informatics grad student Tosin Aiyelokun on having their paper,
‘Overcoming Blind Spots in Interaction Design: A Case Study in Designing for African AIDS Orphan Care Communities’ accepted to the Journal of Information Technologies & International Development.

Abstract: “The process of designing technological systems for the developing world is a challenging task. In a project that we undertook in the summer of 2007 using an iterative design process, we attempted to develop delay-tolerant networking technology on mobile phones to support workers at AIDS orphanages in Zambia and South Africa. Despite extensive preparations and research, we found that conditions on the ground were radically different from what we had anticipated, and we had to quickly re-group and redefine our strategic goals. This experience made us realize that, for this type of design, resiliency and contingency planning were the most valuable tools in our interaction design toolbox. In response to changing conditions, we rapidly prototyped a different mobile telephony application called Nomatic*AID that provides a feedback loop among donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and field workers. In this paper, we reflect on the redirection of our work once we reached our field site and our resulting acceptance of design blind spots. We present lessons we learned to help practitioners meet their goals in the presence of considerable and obvious design distance.”

Get a copy of this paper here:

Congratulations Don, Susan and Tosin!

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Posted: 12/18/09 4:22 pm PDT by Comments Off
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Evaluating the Donor Experience in Development Work - June 4th, 2009

Celebration Balloons

Photo courtesy of flickr:eye2eye

Congratulations to Phoebe Lin on passing her Master’s Thesis defense!

Thesis: Evaluating the Donor Experience in Development Work

Don Patterson (Chair)
Susan Sim
Bill Tomlinson

Nomatic*Aid is designed to link donors, non-governmental relief/aid agencies and fieldworkers together into a communication network. It’s a socio-technical system which leverage three technology components (a website, a database of managed aid projects and a mobile computing platform in the field) with organizational structures present in aid work. The primary goal of the system is to make the use of donated money more transparent to donors by using geo-tagging technique to identify donations and an email system to feedback donors.

Congrats Phoebe!!

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Posted: 6/4/09 1:53 pm PDT by Add Your Comment
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Programming Job – AIDS – Africa - May 4th, 2007

Baby crawling

Photo courtesy of Flickr:phitar

The following is a job announcement forwarded by a colleague of Don’s:
Do you want to put your computer skills to use helping to improve AIDS treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa?
The Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health is soliciting applications for a Programmer/Trainer. Responsibilities of the position include programming, computer training, and research study documentation in support of HIV/AIDs and TB clinical trials being conducted in collaboration with the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
This position is based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where we have a large, dynamic team working closely with our team in Boston.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Knowledge of programming languages and database design. Experience with Basic programming, preferably Visual Basic is a plus. Willingness to learn SAS, a statistical programming language. Ability to teach Microsoft Office products and other computer skills.
Additional Qualifications: Excellent technical, computer, analytical, organizational and problem-solving skills, strong interpersonal, service and communication skills, and the ability to work independently, under supervision and as part of a team.
Please send resume, list of references, and cover letter describing your interest in working in Tanzania and any experiences you have had that prepare you for living and working in another culture.
Contact information:

Jenny Hochstadt
Data Manager
Harvard School of Public Health
Department of Nutrition

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Posted: 5/4/07 1:28 pm PDT by Comments Off
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