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Co-design for Not-for-profit Organization

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Busayawan LAM and Andy DEARDEN


Co-design has potential to help community-based organizations deliver better
services to their beneficiaries, since it encourages users to get involved in
designing services that will be delivered to them. Good use of co-design could
bring several benefits, e.g. ensuring that services match users’ needs.
However, the extent of co-design knowledge among community-based
organizations is currently unknown. Hence, this study aimed at investigating
their current state of co-design knowledge in order to develop guidance to
help them effectively co-design services with their beneficiaries.
This project employed a mix-method approach including a survey, interviews,
case studies, and a creative workshop. This paper will discuss results of case
studies conducted with five organizations, which involved observations and
interviews with key staff and users. The results revealed that the level of
understanding of co-design among community-based organizations varied
greatly. While most organizations have the right mindset for adopting codesign,
since they are keen to listen to users’ ideas, only the minority actually
involves users in designing services. The lack of awareness may be the main
reason of the slow adoption of co-design. Thus, it is important to help them
understand the value of co-design and how it can be used to suit their needs.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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