1. Sticky Information and Social Deconstruction
- ‘Normal’ is a function of culture
- The chart below illustrates different methods of learning a to use a new technology, and the variation by country
2. Advertising in Different Cultures
- Why would this ad not be effective at selling coca-cola in the Middle East?
- In Arabic speaking countries, people read right to left
- Cultural issues associated with treadle pumps:
- In certain parts of India, it is necessary to construct an enclosure around the pumps because it was determined through trial and error that community members thought the movement of the women’s hips were provocative.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, a group spent 17 years setting up businesses centered on low-cost water pumps. Once the group left the community, the treadle pumps were no longer in use. The problem was that the community’s courtship procedures were centered on the women walking to the river to collect water. The treadle pumps eliminated that social construct.
- In Kenya, it is customary to either package food products with clear materials or put a picture of the contents on the outside of the product because so many citizens cannot read or write. (Azuri Health Products contain fruit and vegetables as shown above) Imagine the cultural reaction then, when Gerber implemented their food products.
3. Appropriate Design
- Ensuring Equity between Stakeholders
- Who are the marginalized stakeholders?
- Power Relations
- Systems of Privilege
- Identifying Champions
- Micro-jealousy and Public Relations
- Business Planning with Non-Cash equity (see case study)
- Basic Philosophies that Ground HESE Products
- Relationships are critical to long-term success
- Our work is participatory
- “Harambe” Swahili phrase meaning Let’s Work Together
- “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”- Chinese Proverb
- Sticky Information = information embodied in the people, places organizations, and societal constructs and other contextual entities
- Essential to the context – helps you to identify power relations
- Key and marginalized stakeholders are RESOURCES to be considered in the design process
- How to get to Sticky Information?
- Deconstruction of social situations
- Role-play – How will I act in various scenarios?
4. Cultural Issues that Affect Technology Design
- The “lens” through which you view the world. It is central to what you see, how you make sense of what you see, and how you express yourself
- Different for everyone
- Cultural Dimensions
- Directness (get to the point vs imply the messages)
- Hierarchy (follow orders vs engage in debate)
- Consensus (dissent is accepted vs unanimity is needed)
- Individualism (individual winners vs team effectiveness)
- Priorities of the Culture
- time, equality, money, harmony, self-respect, family
- Must have an understanding of…
- history, religion, lifestyle, politics, economics, humor, slang, irony
- Characteristics of True Collaboration
- relationships between equals
- How to find equity?
- Kenya has a very formal environment
- How do you navigate unknown norms?
- Courtesy calls
- Start with the problem and not the “solution”
- Identify with the people you are working with
- Establish a spirit of camaraderie
- Avoid Colloquialisms
- How many words describe rice in the Vietnamese language? (over 100!)
- Overlap of Social and Economic Networks
- If the pastor of your church is also the owner of a shop and sees you buying and selling copious amounts of alcohol – will you be ostracized in both environments?
- Saving Money on Power Windows
- In India, a major car company tried to save costs by only installing power windows in the front seat. However, individuals wealthy enough to afford this car would always have a chauffeur and therefore be sitting in the back seat.
- A Jordanian woman living in Australia wanted to swim but was uncomfortable wearing a typical swimsuit because of religious beliefs. She then created the Burqini to preserve her modesty and still be active.
5. Countdown of Real Stories about Cultural Issues
The truck projects a movie onto the screen shown above. However, as you can see viewers sit on both side of the screen even though one side will be viewing the movie and the other side will be seeing the reflection. Where in individuals sits is entirely dependent on class dynamics – representing a power dynamic
10. Gendered objects, roles and activities
- Certain activities are assumed to be male/female associated
- Gendered roles include caregiving, cooking, nursing (female)
- Gendered objects – power tools
- In Kenya – women never buy meat because it is a man’s job
- Teaching women to use computers crosses lines
– When interviewing individuals about Mashavu: Networked Health Solutions the team was unable to talk to their target audience (women and children) because when they would approach houses they would only be invited to speak with the male head of the house. After changing their strategy and organizing a community skit, the gender dynamics were altered and women were able to give feedback in the informal environment.
Bruce Martin – Indigenous Ways of Knowing
8. Tension in Communities
Micro-jealously arises when certain individuals have the opportunity to work on projects and ventures. It can come about for legitimate reasons or also because of wrong perceptions. Proper PR is necessary to diffuse tension.
7. Accessibility and Inclusiveness
Is your system accessible to everyone – men, women, elderly, children? What changes must be made to accommodate all groups?
You want to aim to meet the needs of as many people as possible.
Think about Johnson and Johnson BandAids which are Skin-Colored … whose skin does that include?
6. Working Harmoniously
5. Opportunism, Racism, Corruption
Are opportunism and racism the same?
When you are a white student working in Kenya, you will not be charged the same rates as a native Kenyan because an opportunity exists to make extra money.
Corruption: Bribes vs. Grease Payments
4. Minimalist Designs Survive
When in Tanzania, a team was working with batteries that had acid leaking out of the top because of faulty covers. The team came up with the idea of creating a battery hat – a special cover that prevented injury. However, the solution was not sustainable because it added $10 dollars to the cost of the battery. Additionally, once the product broke, no one had the resources to repair the product.
3. Incentivize Participation
2. Ensure Equity
1. Do your Best
* Blog Questions
- How do these social issues & situations affect your project? Give at least one compelling example.
- Have you experienced or observed any of these social situations at home? Describe atleast one such situation.
- Pick one story. How would you have approached the situation differently?