Technologies for Communities: Managing Information from the Grassroots

   Tapan Parikh, University of Washington

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design

In this talk I will discuss my experiences designing, developing and deploying information systems in rural India. I have worked on making
information more accessible to rural users (by designing a user interface that was usable by semi-literate users), as well as applications supporting sustainable rural development (such as a distributed multi-media workspace used to share and catalog inventions by rural villagers). My current projects include CAM - a mobile information services framework for the rural developing world; and Mahakalasm MIS - a management and information system for village microfinance cooperatives. Mahakalasm MIS uses a CAMera-equipped mobile phone to link manual paper-based processes in the village to an on-line data processing service. I will present some of the lessons I have learned in this work, and how that has culminated in the CAM toolkit, which is designed to facilitate many important kinds of rural information flows.

Tapan Parikh received a B.Sc. degree in Molecular Modeling from Brown University, and a M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Washington, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. His long-term objective is the development of affordable and accessible information services that improve economic opportunity and potential for expression in disadvantaged and disconnected communities around the world. For more information on past and current work, please visit

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

Titles and abstracts for previous years are available by year and by speaker.