Ethnography, with its emphasis on understanding activities where they occur, and its use of qualitative data gathering techniques rich in description, has a long tradition in Participatory Design (PD). Yet there are limited methodological insights in its application in developing countries. This paper proposes an ethnographically informed PD approach, which can be applied when designing Primary Healthcare Information Technology (PHIT). We use findings from a larger multidisciplinary project, Health Information Systems Project (HISP) to elaborate how ethnography can be used to facilitate participation of health practitioners in developing countries settings as well as indicating the importance of ethnographic approach to participatory Health Information Technology (HIT) designers. Furthermore, the paper discusses the pros and cons of using an ethnographic approach in designing HIT.
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