Participatory design innovation to solve challenges in rural Uganda: A model for the future

Aloysius Wilfred Raj AROKIARAJ, Joshua SCHAPIRO, Jessica PACHUTA, Illah NOURBAKHSH, Taihua HU, Ka Wing Jessica WONG, Albert KO

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


Academic outreach projects have been largely ignoring the knowledge of local communities in working on challenges which exist in these places. In the recent past, data has been pointing to the fact that a majority of the community outreach projects in developing countries have failed or proven to be unsustainable. Many of these projects are driven by charitable values, driven by the strong urge to help the people in need. This however might be in direct conflict with ground up problem solving approaches. Charitable work doesn’t approach the community challenge with a problem-solving mindset, so the effectiveness and sustainability of the work are undermined [1]. A new approach was designed and the possibilities of a collaborative fact finding, collaborative problem definition and co-designing to solve the challenges were tested. This will ensure the solutions are integrated into the communities’ social, economic and cultural landscape while at the same time providing an effective solution which has community ownership. The project will leverage an existing network of collaborating partners to maximize impact.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2019
EventIEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference - Seattle, United States
Duration: 17 Oct 201920 Oct 2019

Public Lecture

Public LectureIEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference
Abbreviated titleIEEE GHTC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

Bibliographical note

The projects were funded by the University Grants Commission, Hong Kong and Lingnan Foundation. The authors would also like to acknowledge that some of the students involved in field visits contributed to the revision of the article and they will be duly credited in future publications.


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