RIOS Institute

Research and action

Events and News
  • ICT and Education
    February 9 - 13, 2009

  • GAID Annual Global Forum
    June 10 -12, 2009

  • ICTD 2009
    April 17 - 19, 2009
    Doha, Qatar

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This workshop teaches the fundamentals of human-driven design and research (HDDR) and how to apply them in order to increase the impact and ensure the sustainability of social and technological development projects.

Conducted in a small group setting, the workshop is built around a case study from the ICTD area, or alternatively can be customized according to organizational or programmatic needs.

Through hands-on exercises and role-playing, workshop participants learn how to:

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  • find and question the hidden assumptions that guide their projects

  • use anthropological methods of open-ended interviewing, listening and participant-observation to better understand the needs of project recipients, as well as their social and political networks

  • evaluate projects along the four HDDR axis of local practices, participatory design processes, socio-cultual contexts and political conditions

  • refocus their projects on the end-users who are crucial for the survival and success of a project.

Comments by Workshop Attendants

I enjoyed the RIOS workshop I attended because it pushed us out of the comfort zone of a typical talking head session and into a real-world example of how stakeholders approach social change.

Jim Fruchterman, President,
CEO and Founder, Benetech
Silicon Valley Challenge Summit

Paul Braund and the RiOS Institute bring years of invaluable insight to the work of understanding how technology, business models, and social institutions must co-evolve if we are to create a more just and equitable world in which the benefits of technology and markets can work for the benefit of the poor.

Paul's work with the Global Social Benefit Incubator enabled social entrepreneurs from around the world to see how stakeholders from various sectors view the same program elements in a different light and to understand how the differing perspectives of "outside organizations" and indigeneous populations must be reconciled if leap frog advances are to be made in the deployment of information, communciations, and other technologies.

Testing assumptions is key to the development of sustainable and scalable business models. Paul and the Rios Institute use a "discovery based" approach to learning that fits with the lived experience of social entrepreneurs and provides them with a roadmap for how they can clarify critical assumptions.

James L. Koch, Founding Director
Center for Science, Technology, and Society
Professor of Management
Leavey School of Business and Administration
Global Social Benefit Incubator

For more information or to book a workshop at your institution, contact