Dignity, respect and grace in participatory research involving university teams.


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Higher education institutions are increasingly responding to global development challenges through collaborative interventionist research efforts with organizational partners. By doing so, they increasingly engage in roles previously the purview of international development organizations. This research, through a critical research in information systems (CRIS) lens, evaluates the collaboration between an American university team and India-based hospital team and technology vendors. A participatory design approach is used in the collaboration to develop an mHealth application that addresses the growing challenge of diabetes among a slum population in Bengaluru, India. The study found that when research involves working in distributed teams, despite technological advances, the importance of creating opportunities for physical interaction between research collaborators is important. Secondly, at initiation, communication plans are necessary to ensure cohesiveness and safeguard documentable history. Lastly, treating each other with respect, dignity and genuine grace was found to be most critical in ensuring a meaningful participatory collaboration.



Collaboration. Grace. Respect. Dignity. ICT4D. Critical research. Participatory approach.