The role of human-centred design in implementing ICT solutions in WASH projects

2018-02-12T15:11:18Z (GMT) by David Schaub-Jones Jessica Kaliski
Over the past decade in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, there has been a continual rise in the advancement of telecommunications, as well as a continual rise in urbanisation. Within this context, a number of sector professionals have acknowledged the potential for the rapid growth in information and communication technologies (ICT) to offer new opportunities to water providers to address some of their enduring challenges. Desille and Faggianelli (2013) emphasise the importance of those both collecting and analysing information to ensure data collected is relevant and regularly updated. Unfortunately, little attention is initially given to catering these systems towards those collecting data. This paper uses lessons learned regarding appropriate and inappropriate design approaches in ICT projects in the WASH sector to showcase two case studies implemented by the social enterprise, SeeSaw. Despite SeeSaw’s attempt to incorporate the personalities, incentivise, and motivations of the reporters at the onset of the project, some challenges still remain. These results suggest both the challenges avoided when design considerations incorporate those collecting information, but also the challenges that still remain – and that future research can help clarify.