Many people living in floating villages on Lake Tonle Sap have poor nutrition because they do not own land and have limited space to grow vegetables. A collaboration between CoDesign Studio, Agile Development Group, and Rural Friends for Community Development addressed this issue through a participatory design project. Our team worked with local village families to develop four prototypes which were monitored by each family and later evaluated.

Villagers with gardens have doubled their vegetable intake, and are actively solving issues that arise with the design of their garden. After nine months, a cost benefit analysis showed two successful prototypes with predicted pay-back periods of six to nine months, and nine families had chosen to invest their own money in floating gardens and duck-raising pens.

For more information about the project and its outcomes you can download the project report (9 MB).

The experiences led to the development of a Participatory Design Handbook for NGOs, designers and students, to assist them in the development and implementation of community based projects. It's free, and we would love your feedback if you read or use it.