Usability and Robustness - Barriers and Enablers for Projects Operating in Low-Resource Settings
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Being able to exploit resources to its fullest have been important throughout history. How can projects operating in low-resource setting optimize their resource utilization? In this thesis I have looked at some of the challenges this task present through an interpretive case study. Standardization and robustness as properties, and user-involvement as a tool, have been identifieded as important aspects of the task.I have worked on a project operating in a low-resource setting, with the aim to develop and implement a mobile application. The application is used by teachers to report student health data. Five schools are participating in a one-year pilot-project in Shimla, India. The teachers' task is to identify, report and follow-up suspected cases of Rheumatic Fever (RF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), using the application that has been developed. If the project becomes a success, other schools and additional diseases can be included. Working in a low-resource setting imposes challenges towards manpower, time, money and technology, which is something that we experienced during this project. My findings indicate that enhanced standardization and robustness will enable a more optimized resource utilization, and increase the project chances of succeeding. However, a prerequisite for accomplish this, is increased user-involvement; to be able to derive the right standard or ensuring robustness, the users has to be involved. Otherwise the project's scope can be misinterpreted.