SAP Africa Innovation Prize 2014: Design for Mobile Empowerment

I have great news update! Earlier this week, I was awarded the SAP Africa Innovation Prize 2014 for my submission regarding the capability-sensitive design of a system for monitoring use of tablet devices in South African classrooms. I had the opportunity to present the submission at a workshop at the 13th Participatory Design Conference  in Windhoek, earlier this month.

I the short positioning paper submitted to the conference I present the empowerment problem and argue that it is a ‘wicked problem’ for which participatory design approaches are particularly suited. Within the resource-constrained environment of South African public education, I offer capability-sensitive design as a grounded theory-led method for the development of conceptual designs empowering teachers and school managers. The participatory elements of the method are constrained within the data gathering phase, the pluralistic analysis inscribed within the capability approach, and the empathy stage of design thinking. The method is illustrated via the ‘Class Journal’ concept, developed within an engagement towards the ICT4RED project in Eastern Cape between CSIR and SAP Innovation Center- Pretoria.

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