Mobile-for-Development Meets Human-Centered Design: Field Experiments in Kenya



Nan Zhang, Stanford University
Jess Auerbach, Stanford University
Eric Ruth, Stanford University
Sunny Jeon, Stanford University

Date and Time

November 17, 2011 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Building, Koret Taube Conference Room, 366 Galvez Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

FSI Contact

Kathleen Barcos


The proliferation of information and communication technology in even the lowest-income communities has created space for innovative ICT-based approaches to global poverty. However, projects of this kind are often ineffective because they focus excessively on technological solutions and are inattentive to user needs, preferences, and capacities. This seminar will present four projects that attempt to overcome these limitations in Kenya using "human-centered design" -- an approach to design that is anchored in ethnographic engagement with end-users.

One of the season’s highlights is a panel of students who participated in the innovative class taught by Joshua Cohen and Terry Winograd at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( On November 17, four teams will present their new ICT designs to mitigate water problems and other issues in the slums of Kibera, Kenya. For those who wish to get a taste of this much sought after course, this talk will prove invaluable.