Paper published in TOCHI Special Issue ‘Re-imagining Participatory Design’

The paper ‘Participatory Design and Participatory Research: An HCI case study with Young Forced Migrants’ (Authors: Ana Maria Bustamante Duarte, Nina Brendel, Auriol Degbelo, Christian Kray) has been published in the special issue in ‘Re-imagining Participatory Design’ from the ACM Transactions in Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) volume 25 issue 3.

Abstract: Participatory design (PD) in HCI has been successfully applied to vulnerable groups, but further research is still needed on forced migrants. We report on a month-long case study with a group of about 25 youngforced migrants (YFMs), where we applied and adapted strategies from PD and participatory research (PR). We gained insights into the benefits and drawbacks of combining PD and PR concepts in this particular scenario. The PD+PR approach supported intercultural collaborations between YFMs and young members of the host community. It also enabled communication across language barriers by using visual and “didactic reduction” resources. On a theoretical level, the experiences we gained allowed us to reflect on the role of “safe spaces” for participation and the need for further discussing it in PD. Our results can benefit researchers who take part in technology-related participatory processes with YFMs.

GEO-C and Participation: Workshops on ‘Design Thinking’ with young refugees in Münster

Four participatory workshops in ‘Design Thinking’ were conducted by the Geo-C team at WWU with over 18 young refugees and asylum seekers in Münster. Each of the sessions was half-day long, and they were done as extracurricular activities from the school. The workshops were held at the Institute for Geoinformatics from mid-October to mid-November, 2017. These workshops aimed to assess a set of participatory methodologies draw from a combination of elements from participatory design, participatory (action) research, and didactics to provide ‘safe spaces’ for learning and co-creation of technologies for them with young refugees and asylum seekers.

During these workshops, we also aimed to understand the awareness of young refugees and asylum seekers regarding the management of their personal and location data when they use digital services. Several exploratory methods were used for this, as well as for introducing, after the ‘exploratory’ assessment, the concept of personal and location data privacy to them. The goal of this exercise was to evaluate if such strategy modified somehow the way they ideate and design digital services to support them in their (re)settlement in Münster.

At the end of the workshops, attendance certificates for participating in the workshops in ‘Design Thinking’ were provided to the young refugees and asylum seekers who participated. All of these activities were done with the collaboration of the school staff, mainly from the school administration and teachers.

GEO-C and Participation: Workshops with young refugees in Münster

From mid-September to mid-October, 2016, the Geo-C team at WWU in Münster, Germany conducted several participatory workshops and activities with over 50 students, ages 15-18, from the International and IT classes* at school in the city.
The overall goal of these activities was to generate participatory spaces in which it was possible to identify the challenges and needs of the group of young refugees and asylum seekers, as well as a potential ICT mobile tool to guide them when using open geospatial data to address their information needs during the initial stages of their resettlement in Münster. In total, we held five workshops, one field work, and one extra hands-on session at the school. All of these activities were done with the collaboration of the school staff, particularly from the school administration  and the IT teacher and coordinator.
Some of the preliminary results were:
A) Initially identified needs of the young refugees and asylum seekers related to 1) learning the local language upon arrival, 2) the urge for establishing social contact with people from the local community, and 3) the relevancy of ICT apps which are more ‘user friendly’.
B) A set of places of importance for the young refugees and asylum seekers in the city.
C) More than 13 mock-ups done by young refugees related to a potential geospatial application which supported them upon arrival.
*This classification of the classes is the official designation from the school. The international class is constituted by students at the school who are recognized as refugees and asylum seekers.