Abstract

How do we identify the right target beneficiaries within an informal economic ecosystem for development interventions designed to maximize benefits and value for money? This was our initial research question when we conceived the human- centred design research program for exploratory fieldwork to map informal trade in the borderland of Kenya and Uganda. This paper narrates our discovery process and analytical journey identifying a previously unknown segment of micro-entrepreneurs whose business practices lead to the organic development of an economic microsystem - a "value web" or established network of customers, suppliers, and service providers. The individual actors in these microsystems collectively form a value creation engine which we identify as the target beneficiary or end-user, for the design of interventions meant to trigger progressively transformational change in the borderland's informal trade ecosystem. We describe the factors leading to our decision to consider the value creator's entire value web as the end-user, rather than the individuals at the heart of each such microsystem, for optimal outcome of systemic design interventions.

Keywords:

systemic design, complexity studies, design research methodology, informal economy

Creative Commons License

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

Share

COinS
 
Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Identifying the User in an Informal Trade Ecosystem

How do we identify the right target beneficiaries within an informal economic ecosystem for development interventions designed to maximize benefits and value for money? This was our initial research question when we conceived the human- centred design research program for exploratory fieldwork to map informal trade in the borderland of Kenya and Uganda. This paper narrates our discovery process and analytical journey identifying a previously unknown segment of micro-entrepreneurs whose business practices lead to the organic development of an economic microsystem - a "value web" or established network of customers, suppliers, and service providers. The individual actors in these microsystems collectively form a value creation engine which we identify as the target beneficiary or end-user, for the design of interventions meant to trigger progressively transformational change in the borderland's informal trade ecosystem. We describe the factors leading to our decision to consider the value creator's entire value web as the end-user, rather than the individuals at the heart of each such microsystem, for optimal outcome of systemic design interventions.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.