Tech vs. Poverty: How to Create Better Solutions for the Right End User
In Kenya, a shopkeeper uses a mobile phone to deposit money directly into her account.
In Benin, a cashew farmer knows what areas of his land he needs to fertilize thanks to information from satellites and drones.
In a remote area of Chile, an entrepreneur is getting the business training she needs via an online learning platform.
Technology is changing the way people live their lives. For over 50 years, TechnoServe has been integrating technology into many of our programs to reach more people and scale our impact around the world. Without an understanding of the end user, technology often proves unhelpful at best, and actively harmful at worst.
Designing Products With the End User in Mind Produces Better Tech Solutions
TechnoServe works to develop tech solutions based on a solid understanding of user needs and local context. Understanding the user – the person who will ultimately be adopting the technology – is always the starting point for building an effective solution.
Some of the biggest failures in incorporating technology in development contexts result from creating solutions that don’t fit the target users’ needs and capabilities.
Fortunately, there is an increasing emphasis on engaging local communities in testing, piloting, and rolling out new technological solutions
In the technology world, companies create user personas to ensure that product designs are effective for their designated audience base. At TechnoServe, we use a similar process to create user profiles for each program. These valuable assets help to determine which technology approach is most likely to be effective for a particular program and its designated group of users.