Recommendations for participatory design in low-resource settings
A case study of Simprints
Keywords:participatory design, development, low resource, Global South, developing countries
Participatory design is a widely recognised approach in Design for Development projects. It supports collaborative, community-based practices and it empowers users to take ownership. Despite the importance of participatory design in solving global challenges, the majority of research has focused its application in the Global North. Recently, some studies have explored participatory design methods in more low-resource settings. Still there is a gap between the existence of these methods, and designers being able to use them successfully because of the complex realities they face in low-resource settings. Existing knowledge is fragmented and there is a lack of best practice guidance for practitioners using participatory design in low-resource settings. We address this problem by reporting the experiences of Simprints, a technology company based in the UK, providing biometric identification solutions in the Global South. Our study reveals key recommendations for participatory design in low-resource settings, providing useful insights for practitioners and design researchers.