Online Course: Participatory Design for Development

Hands-on, real-world projects, practical tools & techniques

Whatʼs Participatory Design?
Participatory Design, as defined by MIT D-Lab, is the multi-disciplinary process of co-designing effective poverty-alleviating solutions and approaches with end-users. Participatory design is increasingly seen and used as an important approach to designing products, processes, programs, and business models that aim to sustainably improve the lives of people living in poverty.

Whatʼs in this Online Course?
This eight-week course will introduce, define, and compare the different types of participatory design: human-centered design, co-design, and user-generated design. The course will present a step-by-step process to engage Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) stakeholders in co-design. Participants will learn and practice tools and techniques for establishing the proper mindset, exploring and framing problems, generating and evaluating ideas, as well as prototyping through sketch-modeling. Each week,participants will engage in hands-on activities to apply these tools and techniques to a real project of their choice.

Who is this for?
The second cohort of participants is drawn from the MIT Practical Impact Alliance (PIA) member organizations and their affiliates (fellows, grantees, investees, implementing partners), members of the other D-Lab fellowships, and all participants in the PIA Co-Design Summit 2018 are required to complete this course as a pre-requisite for joining the summit in Morocco. Up to 5 individuals per PIA member organization are eligible to enroll in the course.

Please note this course version is still in beta mode and at this time open to PIA members, MIT D-Lab staff and fellows. Next September we will be releasing a publicly available, self-paced online version of the course.


          Course Details:

          Registration Opens: June 27 - July 31, 2018
          Course Starts: Sep 10th - Nov 8th, 2018
          Registration Now Closed
          Week 1: Introduction to participatory design
          Week 2: Measuring impact in participatory design
          Week 3: Mindsets for participatory design
          Week 4: Gathering information
          Week 5: Break
          Week 6: Framing a problem as a team
          Week 7: Ideation and concept selection
          Week 8: Sketch modeling and user feedback