mobile + africa
A contingent of Stanford University d.school students recently returned from Kenya, where they spent two weeks working with Nokia Research Africa, and the University of Nairobi, developing health-related mobile applications. The trip was the culmination of months of work in connection with a new class at the d.school, “Designing Liberation Technologies,” which will be offered again in the coming academic year.

“Designing Liberation Technologies” is (at least in its current iteration) an experiment in remote, user-centered design. Starting in April, Stanford d.school students from a diverse array of disciplines – including computer science, medicine, business, law, education – worked with computer science students at the University of Nairobi to identify the design needs of health care providers and low-income mobile phone users in Kenya. The students then developed prototypes of mobile applications to support delivery of health services in urban areas. In August, a group of students travelled to Nairobi to meet with NGO partners, test prototypes, and advance plans for the future.

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