Initial Readings for Spring 2014

Because a quarter is a very short time to do a project in unfamiliar territory, we want to get a head start with readings on the core topics. We expect you to read these before the course begins, and they will be discussed in several of the class sessions.


IDEO Human-Centered Design Toolkit - Read the introduction and we'll use detailed sections as we go.

Krista Donaldson, The Future of Design for Development: Three Questions , ITID Journal Winter 2009, 5:4


Abby Higgins, Kibera: Nairobi's Biggest Slum Challenges the Development Narrative, March 5, 2013

Benjamin Marx, Thomas Stoker, and Tavneet Suri, The Economics of Slums in the Developing World, Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 27, Number 4—Fall 2013—Pages 187–210

Benjamin Marx, Thomas M Stokery, and Tavneet Suri, There Is No Free House: Ethnic Patronage and Property Rights in a Kenyan Slum,  MIT Poverty Action Lab Working Paper, 2013

Kenyan Society and politics

Michela Wrong, It's Our Turn to Eat, Harper Perennial, 2010 Chapter 7, The Call of the Tribe. 99-119, Chapter 9. The Making of the Sheng Generation. 145-162.

Mobile Technology

Jennifer Aker and Isaac Mbiti, "Africa Calling: Can Mobiles Phones Make a Miracle," Boston Review (March-April 2010).

Kentaro Toyama, with Nicholas Negroponte, Jenny Aker, Nathan Eagle, Christine Zhenwei Qiang, et al, "Can Technology End Poverty," Boston Review, 2010

You may also want to look at some talks we've given on the course and related topics:

Terry Winograd - ICT Design for Social Good: Its Potentials and Pitfalls

Josh Cohen- Comte lectures,

Sally Madsen, Designer of Social Impact at IDEO, Talks About The Water Project: "Ripple Effect" .