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SUMMER 2003 INTERNSHIP -  FIELDWORK REPORT

STS COLLOQUIUM HELD ON OCTOBER 22, 2003

by Marie RARIEYA

“Virtual Design Studio Pilot Project: Steps Towards the Participatory Design of an HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign in Kenya”

Overview

Strategically designed and targeted communication campaigns remain one of the best approaches to prevent the spread of AIDS in the absence of therapeutic treatment against HIV infection. A participatory, user-centered design process tends to yield products that carry relevant and appropriate messages in communication campaigns. We seek to develop a virtual design studio in which the target audience can directly participate in the communication design process.  

The objective of this summer internship in Kenya was to conduct a small-scale workshop with “grassroots” participants, modeled after professor Bennett’s AIDS prevention communication design course. Using a combination of low-tech media (cameras, sketchpads) and internet technologies (email, websites, electronic whiteboards, etc.) we established communication between Professor Bennett’s team at RPI, and the Kenyan workshop participants. During the study, a number of research methods were chosen to collect data. They include: participant observation, open-ended interviews, use of case studies, and field software. Data was collected in two sites: Kusa and Nairobi.  In addition to the workshop, I participated in an HIV/AIDS campaign organized by the Kusa Community Development Society (KCDS) and sponsored by RELMA, which was launched from 28 to 29 July, 2003. 

I present preliminary findings of the pilot study on the use of information technology to facilitate participatory design of a communications campaign.

Related Links

  1. PowerPoint Presentation

  2. Design Process Journal

  3. RELMA Kusa Pilot Project

  4. Speech by His Exellency, Hon. Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H., M.P., President of Kenya. March | September

  5. Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS

 
 
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