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Rural e-services: Participatory co-design of Sustainable Software and Business Systems in Rural Co-operatives

This is a three year EPSRC funded project to look at how participatory rural appraisal can be used with participatory software design methods to develop appropriate (and appropriated) ICT solutions in microfinance cooperatives. The project will also seek to develop enhanced business models using the opportunities afforded by ICTs.

Specific aims of the rural e-finance project are:

  • To unify and relate methods from rural development, sustainable business modelling, and ICT design;
  • To understand the specific needs and problems of rural cooperatives and how these can be met through ICTs;
  • To find ways of undertaking ICT for Development that contribute to building innovation capacity in beneficiary communities;
  • To create sustainable business models for ICT supported services delivery and information inequality reduction in disadvantaged communities;
  • To disseminate the methods and findings to academic and practitioner communities;
  • To explore the transfer of lessons learnt from one location to others (e.g. India to China).
Paul Matthews