UCT CS Research Document Archive

An insider perspective on community gains: A subjective account of a Namibian rural communities' perception of a long-term participatory design project

Kapuire, Gereon Koch, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus and Edwin Blake (2015) An insider perspective on community gains: A subjective account of a Namibian rural communities' perception of a long-term participatory design project. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 74:124-143.

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Abstract

Community-based co-design takes place within a communal value system and opens up a new debate around the principles of participation and its benefits within HCI4D and ICTD projects. This study contributes to a current gap of expression of participants׳ gains, especially from an indigenous and marginalized rural communities׳ perspective. We have collected community viewpoints concurrently over the past five years of our longitudinal research project in rural Namibia. A number of themes have emerged out of the data as extracted by our native researcher, such as the special importance of learning technology, appreciation of the common project goal, the intrinsic pleasure of participation, frustrations about exclusions and other concerns, as well as immediate rewards and expectations of gaining resources. We acknowledge our own bias in the curation of viewpoints, and incompleteness of subjectivities while embedding our discussion within a local contextual interpretation. Through our learning from the communities we argue for a shift in perspective that acknowledges local epistemologies in HCI and participatory design and research. We suggest considering harmony and humanness as the primary values guiding community-based interactions. We discuss several challenges in the collaboration and co-creation of new knowledge at the frontier of multiple cultural, linguist, research and design paradigms. In the absence of generalized guidelines we suggest to pursue local workability while producing trans-contextual credibility.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:Participatory design; Rural community; User gains; User involvement
Subjects:H Information Systems: H.m MISCELLANEOUS
K Computing Milieux: K.4 COMPUTERS AND SOCIETY
J Computer Applications: J.5 ARTS AND HUMANITIES
ID Code:1092
Deposited By:Blake, Edwin H
Deposited On:24 August 2016
Alternative Locations:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2014.10.004