• Project Leader

    Akshay Sharma

  • Organisation

    Virginia Tech

  • Designed By

    Akshay Sharma - professor Ayan Bhandari, Sara Choudhari, Caroline mulenaer

  • Project Location

    India, USA

  • Project website

  • Name of nominating Icsid Member organisation

    Industrial Designers Society of America - USA

If Design is about creative problem-solving, then we must address some of the biggest issues facing our society. I wanted to look for opportunities where design could play a more substantial role in improving the lives of those living at the bottom of the pyramid.

How do you design an experience for a user that cannot read or write? You create similar situations for yourself and keep exploring ways till you find a solution that works.

Micro financing has proven to be effective in empowering women at the grass root levels. Most of the members of the Self Help Groups are illiterate, and as a result have to depend on a professional accountant to maintain their records. We saw an opportunity for Design intervention and created a visual book keeping system that would not only engage the members in the process but also reduce their dependence on the group accountant. During our prototype testing in India, we realized the urgent need for a financial literacy tool that would educate the users about the relationship between the loans given out to the members and income generated for the group. Once a self help group understands this relationship, the cost associated with the accountant becomes insignificant. Our system is designed to create an engaging, interactive system to be used by the partner NGO providing training to the self help groups.