Participatory Design and Technologies for Sustainable Development: an Approach from Action Research

Andrés Esteban Acero López, María Catalina Ramírez Cajiao, Mauricio Peralta Mejía, Luisa Fernanda Payán Durán, Espinosa Díaz E.E.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the relevance of the action research for design of technological solutions that lead to both systemic sustainable development and active involvement of the community. The paper shows how this idea was implemented in a project for water resource conservation with educational institutions of rural areas in Colombia. Through the use of technology, a reduction in water consumption increases in awareness about the use of this natural resource, and the active involvement of the community were sought. Additionally, social processes related to the conservation of natural resources were addressed through a socio-technical approach for analysis and design. During the application of the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), the participants and researchers created technological prototypes that allowed to: 1) give visibility to the community’s initiatives, and 2) save water in the households. This paper focuses on the importance of the design process of innovative solutions for social and environmental issues through the participative approach of action research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-191
Number of pages25
JournalSystemic Practice and Action Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this