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Design for development management

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Due to the evolving role of development organisations over the years, critical
questions are being asked of their accountability and performance
throughout the development literature. The complexity of the challenges
these organisations are facing are accelerating faster than can be addressed
with traditional, analytically based management approaches. The design
community has much to say on how it can play a more significant role in this


Consolidating an in-depth literature review with applied, hands-on and inthe-
field experience, we propose new perspectives on how more humancentred
design approaches assist development organisations. Particularly,
how these organisations may achieve greater social accountability by moving
beyond quantitative measures in defining and delivering initiatives to address
real human needs. In addition we extend Buchanan’s 2001 seminal body of
work which introduced the role of human centred design as affirming human
dignity through the empowering of people and communities to engage in
decisions that work for them rather than being recipients of external and
sometimes misaligned “solutions” to them.


Our work is relevant to a mixed audience comprised of designers,
development managers, donor organisations, and other actors involved in the
design of new futures for marginalised populations in developing countries.


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


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