Hestia, a design probe investigating inter-organizational politics of collective action

Screen shot of Hestia

Live Demo: http://hestia.star-uci.org/foodMap.php

Based on my exploratory work [e.g, 20122014], I realized that hunger-focused nonprofits have two information goals that could be supported through a collaborative location-based information system. These two goals include: First, nonprofits need help matching client needs to existing resources. Second, nonprofits need help connecting with new sources of food.

I conducted and organized co-design sketching sessions with three participants from two organizations. I lead a team of undergraduate and graduate researchers to transform those sketches into a design probe called Hestia, a location-based information system that mapped food resources. Then, we employed the concept validation interview technique with seven people from five different organizations. Methodologically, concept validations enable designers to understand how a new technology would fit into a work place and change work practices.

While conducting the validation interview, it became clear that inter- organizational politics matter for designing for collective action in four way. First, those technology shouldn’t replace all people, but instead support the role of intermediaries. Second, such a system needs to match resources to need of the community members. Third, help NPOs control their visibility to others. Fourth, assist nonprofit organizations in documenting their work and practice.

For more information, please read my paper, “It takes a network to get dinner: designing location-based systems to address local food needs” or feel free to contact me with additional questions.

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