Co-developed by MIT D-Lab and Siemens Stiftung, a new case study illustrates how participatory design can be used to catalyze technology transfer across underserved communities and contribute to a transfer’s long-term outcomes.
For about 16 years, the MIT Development Lab (D-Lab) contributed to international development through their innovative approaches mainly through collaborative design approaches and the development of practical solutions. Their creative co-design approaches have supported people living in poverty for years to become active creators themselves – not just recipients or users of technology.
Some technologies however are simply not easily replicated or developed in backyards – especially when it comes to high standard water filtration technologies. In this case, the transfer of already existing technology might be useful. At the same time we see hundreds of failed development projects. Many of them have lacked local knowledge, ownership and also creativity. That’s why we at Siemens Stiftung and the MIT D-Lab, together with WorldVision decided to test if the co-design methodology could be adopted around the implementation of existing technology to increase the efficiency of technology transfers. The Aguajira case study represents all our experiences and learnings during the process of implementing a water filtration technology in the village of Conejo in La Guajira, Colombia.