Self Determined Participatory Action of Marginalized Groups: The streets of São Paulo

some discussion is going on

A (yet) small discussion is going on in the Ushahidi
about the purpose and outcome of my master thesis. A nice
way of getting some feedback and suggestions! The current discussion
helps also defining the objectives of the thesis which are in the
moment a bit shady.

here are some of the issues

  • exclusion of people due to

  • what is the expected outcome of
    the fieldwork

  • how to spread the word among the ppl

The illiteracy issue already tackles one of the possible
hypothesis of thesis, that is, the usage of common and widespread
mobile technologies such as text messaging overcomes the exclusion of
ppl due to gender, age or social status. In case of illiteracy this
may not hold true if data needs to be send in text form only. So,
what can be done in that case? One possibility is certainly to sit
together with the people and discuss alternative ways of representing
data in the framework of a text message, such as using symbols. I
think it will also support all ppl when clear and easy to use
"manuals" are available, in form of flashcards or posters.
I nice example for that can be found on the bldgblog,
(flashcards) and here

Another aspect is the outcome of the fieldwork. I think it shall
not be an objective to develop a plan based on the gained data due to
the time constraints of this master thesis (6 month). Maybe more
important is in the first place to validate the gained data in order
to gave a valid set of representative data of a cities neighbourhood.
I would guess that the dataset could be 1000 – 10000 entries large. A
valid set of data which allows to understand the local situation can
in the first place be used to generate pressure on the agents of the
city government/organisations. Additionally the data set shall serve
as the base for the development of actions on the community level.
Once good suggestions or plans are developed one could conduct them
on the community level (because it comes from the very same ppl) or
approach public institutions. This would reverse the situation where
ppl have to wait till some of the officials or organisations approach
them in order to conduct development projects. Further more it would
be a desired effect if the local ppl gain all the knowledge to
conduct similar projects and instruct other ppl/communities.

These are just some thoughts that will be elaborated into
suggestions for objectives and a hypothesis, in the next post.

Category: discussion, general, ideas, ushahidi


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