Isooko is a funded consortium project where Ushahidi was the technology partner in discovering whether technology can aid peacebuilding education/activities. Activities were primarly undertaken in Rwanda and Kenya due to tribal and political conflict and the subsequent peacebuilding efforts of organisations and governments.
The Isooko project has several packages of work dispersed amongst the relevant consortium partners. Ushahidi’s design efforts were brought in to work alongside the University of Leiden’s Living Labs methodology, which was applied to the in-country circumstances and environments using Ushahidi and another consortium partner, Aegis Trust, expertise in peace building in Rwanda and Kenya.
My role as designer at Ushahidi was to help work with the living labs methodology and program staff to produce a series of activities and workshops using the appropriate methodologies to gain insight. This resulted in 3 days of workshops in both Kenya and Rwanda working with members of the public and civil society organisations.
The activities included, but were not limited to:
- User journey mapping
- User personas
- Rapid prototyping
- Stakeholder mapping
- Program forecasting
- Technology insights
The Isooko project taught me a great deal about how to work with seemingly banal design tasks within a high stress, traumatic context. Taking the exercise of ‘user journey map’ and applying that activity to a personal, family or national crisis is at the very least taxing and stressful to the humans doing the exercise and at worst, risks re-traumatising the individuals involved.