Unrest, famine and field study options


I am already running into the challenges of working with design in refugee camps. It was planned that I go to Liberia or Somaliland this fall, but the rescent unrest and famine makes it difficult for NRC staff to recommend me going there. The feedback that I have received from some of the involved in this project is that the Humanitarian Aid Organisations will not allow user tests or development of products within the camp in the way that is natural for designers to work. My difficulties of gaining access – which I in prinsciple have, but only when it is relatively calm – only illustrates the difficulties of developing products for this kind of end-user.

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About Brita Fladvad Nielsen

I'm a Postdoctoral researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. My focus is on Smart Energy Communities in urban settings as well as design of energy-devices for emergency settings and design for humanitarian markets, especially for refugee camps in rural areas of Africa. I blog about my research approach Design Thinking on www.designthinkingresearch.wordpress.com and about humanitarian design at www.designforselfreliance.wordpress.com . I am also a mother of a child who is deaf, and I blog about her language development on Aurorasittsprak.wordpress.com
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