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Co-creation workshops for developing local community networks during a pandemic

Friederike Fröbel; Carina Lange; Jeanne Mandaroux; Nora Ajavon; Anna-Lisa Wirth; Victoire Tsamedi; Séti Afanou; Ousia Foli-Bebe; Gesche Joost
In: Research for All, Vol. 6, Pages 1-13, UCL Press, 8/2022.


During co-creation workshops, three communities in Lomé, Togo, developed their own alternative technology – do-it-yourself networks that were adapted to their specific local needs. Usually, these collaborative formats require physical proximity, not only between participants, but also between participants and their local environments. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all physical meetings were cancelled or restricted, and the project team had to transfer their methodologies to digital formats accommodating geographical distance. Their endeavours revealed challenges regarding both local community networking in general and the adaptation of co-creation methodologies during a global pandemic. A major lesson learned was the importance of trust among participants in such an interdisciplinary and diverse consortium. This article offers insights into the collaborative development of local community networks, providing new perspectives on co-design in the restrictive settings caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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