Tag Archives: systems design

A theoretical approach to Value for Money in aid & development: Optimizing research and design for ‘best fit’ iterative programming

Last year, I briefly touched upon this concept as an approach to cost effective programme design that was still flexible enough to provide room for iteration for best fit. Today, I want to explore the concept further to evaluate its potential as a framework for incorporating the concurrent shift in development thinking towards Value for […]

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Balancing the outcomes in systems design

The Carpenter’s Problem as a solution framing tool is quite flexible. It permits a spacious solution space in the shaded area of the graph, that allows for localization and customization for best fit to particular region or geography. For instance, the challenge of designing the most inclusive internet for all the newcomers from emerging economies, […]

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“Unlearn the past to create the future”

The late Michigan University management professor, CK Prahalad, is best known for his last, and most famous publication, The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. But to MBA students, management consultancies, corporate planners, and regular readers of the Harvard Business Review, he is also known for a long and distinguished career in management thought […]

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People-centered systems design thinking out loud

This morning I was pondering the complexity involved in weaving together four separate threads of ‘innovation’ into one holistic system. They were not unrelated to each other, and the end users are more or less the same for each, but each is also a standalone solution to a pain point in an ecosystem. I was […]

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Part 2: Enabling development’s paradigm shift from ‘best practice’ to ‘best fit’

Programming in International Development jumps directly into the Design phase of the projects. This is the root of the challenge they face now as they seek to change the paradigm away from ‘best practice’ to putting the end users at the center of their strategies, with ‘best fit’. I identified this problem in the Autumn […]

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An Interdisciplinary Approach to “Best Fit” for International Development: Process and Tools

This post follows on from the previous one which introduced the concept of a ‘best fit’ approach to the ‘wicked problems’ in development. There I posited that consumer facing private enterprises looking at the African market would benefit from considering Development’s thought-leadership in this regard, given their experience in the challenging operating environments of the […]

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Pivoting from “best practice” to “best fit”: An interdisciplinary perspective

There has been an evolution in thinking about development practice. Buckley and Ward (2015) found a broad consensus for a shift from a ‘best-practice paradigm’ (Chambers 2011) to one of ‘best fit’ — that is, development interventions that are ‘optimally adapted’ to the socioeconomic, political and ecological context at any given moment (Ramalingam et al. […]

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Systems thinking and the mobile platform for economic impact and wealth creation

I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time now, percolating as it has in the back of my mind but it was Mark Kaigwa who finally spurred this writing. This is not all about MPesa, though it will take a look at some of the issues why its runaway success in […]

Posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , | 1 Response

Human centered systems design: Navigating complexity through flexibility

Drawing credit: JAM visualdenken Systems designed for use by communities tend to operate differently from back end or operational processes. Its only natural given the unpredictable nature of crowds. I’m sure there are a lot of people looking into this field, with greater experience and knowledge than I. However, I bring this up due to […]

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Systems design lessons from challenging and demanding environments

The most common question posed by designers (at the Design Factory, in Finland) has been “What is different about designing for the BoP from the way I already design for mainstream consumers?” Its a good question to ask, because it takes a systemic view of the user centered design process and methods being taught to […]

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