ICTs and Capacity Building through Apprenticeship and Participatory Methods - Applied to an ICT-based agricultural water management system
This paper describes the COMMON-Sense Net project, a research in progress and joint development between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. The project concerns the design and implementation of an Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) system for agricultural management in a rural community of Karnataka (Southern India). It is unusual in the sense that it focuses on Environment-to-Person Information Systems (EPISs) rather than on Person-to-Person Information Systems (PPISs). Beyond its mere engineering value, we analyze the potential that such a project can unleash for ICT capacity building in the local context of the village. In particular, we study the correspondence between capacity building and knowledge creation, and we describe how a design science approach can foster this kind of capacity building if it is integrated in the project methodology in an iterative and participatory way.