By United Methodist Communications
Q: What factors do development practitioners need to keep in mind when designing ICT products and projects?
A: In the design phase, there are a number of key principles that need attention aside from the technology. It’s not just about the use case but, also the users of the technology. You have to understand the needs of the organization you’re working with, but also those of the community and the individuals you want to serve.
Here are five things to keep in mind in designing an ICT4D project:
#1: Needs Assessment
The first step is to start with a needs assessment. Engage with the project participants who will use the technology, and with the community that will be served. Learn their issues and their needs so that you can design a technology solution that fits.
For example, if you’re a local church in the States looking to start up an ICT4D program abroad, start by working with your peers in that location to understand what the profile and needs of that community are. Is this community agricultural or urban? If you’re working with a peer church in rural Nigeria where 90% of the community members are farmers, then you’ll probably want to build a program that addresses how to get out better information for farmers.
Once you understand the needs of the community, then you can start thinking about which assets the team can bring. Ultimately this is about getting the technology to serve the community, and enabling the community to gain improved access to information.
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