e-Agriculture webinar: Farmer-centered design
When: Friday 28 July - 9 AM EST – 10 AM EDT – 4PM CEST
Human-centered design or user-centered design is at the core of the Principles for Digital Development: guidelines to help development practitioners to integrate best practices into technology enabled programs. The concept of user- or farmer-centered design has been around for more than a decade but still raises a lot of questions. Far too often, an application is designed far away from its beneficiaries or users and does not correspond to their needs. Why does farmer-centered design remain a challenge? How can it be applied better? These are a few of the questions that will be answered by our guest experts during the next e-Agriculture webinar.
Judy Payne, USAID’s former Digital Solutions Advisor for Agriculture, will moderate this session and introduce us to the concept of farmer-centered design, and its importance within the context of the Principles for Digital Development.
Esi Sekyiamah, former Project Director in Ghana of the USAID ICT Extension Challenge project will talk about the project that aimed at developing an integrated and sustainable ICT-based extension solution to promote behaviour change among smallholder farmers. The question was “How to increase smallholder farmer adoption of targeted agronomic technologies?". To do this there were two journeys: a farmer journey that showed, among other things, that many farmers were not technology focused and but were influenced by trusted and supportive human networks to change behaviour, and an extension agent journey that showed that agents worked with limited tools to provide services to large groups of people. The solution design process focused on leveraging trusted and supportive human networks to deliver high quality organized and repeated information and services to target farmers. The result was a platform that is used by aggregators and extension agents to support farmers in the planning, production and sale of their crop and that can be used to provide other services like financial and tractor services to smallholder farmers.
Nathalie Collins and Adam Reineck from IDEO.org will share their experience with farmer-centered design from Myanmar. In collaboration with Proximity Designs, IDEO.org has investigated the potential for precision technology to increase the yields of smallholders in Myanmar. The 80% smartphone penetration rate in Myanmar opens an interesting opportunity for mobile technology to influence agricultural yields. What if GPS technology could help smallholders map their fields to obtain precise acreage, used to then create recommendations for right amount of inputs for each growing season? What if a simple soil moisture sensor with LED light display could indicate to farmers when or when not to water their fields? The collaboration was able to fully explore these opportunities grounded with the needs of smallholder farmers that they interacted and prototyped with in mind, with tangible solutions such as a soil moisture sensor that farmers can use in remote areas at low cost.
Judy Payne, Digital Solutions Advisor for Agriculture
Until May 2017, Judy was USAID's Digital Solutions Advisor for Agriculture. In that role, she helped USAID missions and their projects use digital tools to increase the reach and impact. She also designed and managed public private partnerships related to ICT and agriculture. She focuses especially on ways ICT-enabled agriculture services can be delivered in financially and organizationally sustainable ways and how to measure the impact and cost effectiveness of such services. She now conducts similar work as an independent consultant. Prior to USAID, Judy worked for over 25 years in the US private sector, including working on all aspects of e-business: from strategic planning to hands on implementation, marketing, and pricing. She was VP of a venture capital backed business-to-business e-commerce service. Judy holds a BA from Stanford University, a masters from Harvard and was a Fulbright Scholar.
Esi Sekyiamah – Lead Tulaa and former Proejct Director in Ghana for the USAID led ICT Extension Challenge Project
Esi Sekyiamah was the Project Director in Ghana for the USAID led ICT Extension Challenge project that increased smallholder farmer demand for targeted inputs through deep extension support. Esi holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Her career spans financial services, consulting and economic development and includes work for the Boston Consulting Group in the United States, for TechnoServe as a Deputy Regional Program Manager in Cote D’Ivoire and for Grameen Foundation as Country Director in Ghana. Esi currently leads Tulaa, a virtual marketplace for rural buyers and sellers in Africa.
Nathalie Collins, Senior Design Lead at IDEO.org
Nathalie has served as Senior Design Lead for the Amplify Program, a joint venture with the UK Department for International Development and OpenIDEO aimed at transforming international aid through collaboration and human-centered design. Prior to joining IDEO.org, Nathalie worked with businesses ranging from non-profit startups to large corporations to introduce human-centered products & services to their markets. She led interaction design projects focused on consumer products, large-scale software, healthcare, education, and international development. Nathalie has lectured at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and facilitated executive workshops at the Stanford d.school. She holds a Master’s degree in Product Design from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering & Computer Science from the University of Southern California.
Adam Reineck, Design Director at IDEO.org
As Design Director at IDEO.org, Adam focuses on guiding projects and initiatives through the lens of design excellence. Adam has broad experience in product design, service design, and brand strategy, and has worked in partnership with social enterprises and foundations on challenges related to energy, water and sanitation, healthcare, and financial opportunity. Before joining IDEO.org, he spent eight years as a principal designer at IDEO and worked on a diverse set of international projects with clients including the U.S. Department of Energy, Nike, Samsung, LG, HP, and the North Face. He first worked with IDEO.org in 2011 as a Fellow in the organization’s inaugural year. He founded New Factory, a design studio that bridges innovation and craft, in 2012. Adam’s work has been published in Fast Company, BBC, Wired, Cell Magazine, and the New York Times. He has received design awards from IDEA, ID Magazine, Red Dot, iF and others. He studied Industrial Design at California College of the Arts.