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Leaving the wild: lessons from community technology handovers

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Abstract

As research increasingly turns to work 'in the wild' to design and evaluate technologies under real-world conditions, little consideration has been given to what happens when research ends. In many cases, users are heavily involved in the design process and encouraged to integrate the resulting technologies into their lives before they are withdrawn, while in some cases technologies are being left in place after research concludes. Often, little is done to assess the impact and legacy of these deployments. In this paper, we return to two examples in which we designed technologies with the involvement of communities and examine what steps were taken to ensure their long-term viability and what happened following the departure of researchers. From these examples, we provide guidelines for planning and executing technology handovers when conducting research with communities.