Abstract

The paper presents an overview of activities of a funded project interrogating energy requirements of displaced populations in the Goudoubo camp in Burkina Faso. The overall project adopts a qualitative approach to enquiry using methods often employed by designers in participatory and human-centred design projects, with training provided for embedded researchers from disciplines other than design through a series of workshops prior fieldwork. The overall project aims to build a qualitative toolkit for enquiry into the daily lives of refuges and their lived energy requirements. The paper asks whether the engaged design methods, understood in the context of “global north” practices, are equally effective in sub-Saharan contexts. The paper introduces the methods used, the workshops delivered and then follows the experiences of the embedded researchers who present their findings, challenges and concerns about the delivery and implementation of “design methods” in the field. In their own voice, the researchers outline successes and failures, providing a critical examination regarding the degree to which design methods are transferrable across cultures and contexts.

Keywords:

qualitative methods; design methodology; energy; displacement; reflection

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Methods Across Borders: reflections of using design-led qualitative methods in Burkina Faso

The paper presents an overview of activities of a funded project interrogating energy requirements of displaced populations in the Goudoubo camp in Burkina Faso. The overall project adopts a qualitative approach to enquiry using methods often employed by designers in participatory and human-centred design projects, with training provided for embedded researchers from disciplines other than design through a series of workshops prior fieldwork. The overall project aims to build a qualitative toolkit for enquiry into the daily lives of refuges and their lived energy requirements. The paper asks whether the engaged design methods, understood in the context of “global north” practices, are equally effective in sub-Saharan contexts. The paper introduces the methods used, the workshops delivered and then follows the experiences of the embedded researchers who present their findings, challenges and concerns about the delivery and implementation of “design methods” in the field. In their own voice, the researchers outline successes and failures, providing a critical examination regarding the degree to which design methods are transferrable across cultures and contexts.

 

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