Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

A. Susan Jurow

Second Advisor

Ben Kirshner

Third Advisor

Sarah Revi Sterling

Fourth Advisor

Joseph Polman

Fifth Advisor

Kris Gutierrez


1.) Relationships de Confianza and the Organization of Collective Social Action

We examine the relational elements of community change, focusing on how community health workers (promotoras) build relationships de confianza. The analysis demonstrates how relationships de confianza have laid a foundation to (a) mediate social networks to organize for change and (b) promote solidarity through the response to urgent needs, creating a more holistic model of community health and sustainability. Drawing attention to relational resources foregrounds social actors and their ingenuity, promoting equity in social movements.

2.) Developing Social Alongside Technical Infrastructure: A Case Study Applying ICTD Tenets to Marginalized Communities in the United States

This article provides a model by which to apply ICTD tenets within the context of the U.S. It presents a case study of co-designing a technology application with community health workers, promotoras, working in a historically marginalized community within the U.S. It examines both the process of co-design as well as the use of the designed product as interventions intended to enhance the promotoras’ agency and ability to transform opportunities for themselves and their community. This article argues that designing equity-oriented design solutions involves ethnography and participatory design, as well as attention to both the social and technical infrastructure.

3.) The Challenge and Promise of Community Co-design

In this chapter, we share our design story of collaborating with community advocates working in a historically marginalized community. We focus on equitable and empowering co-design processes and creating a technology tool to represent the community leaders’ social justice activism: (1) negotiating roles to facilitate a participatory approach to design; (2) working across differences of language to develop equitable interactions; (3) using ethnographic methods to identify significant problems of practice; and (4) designing an equity-oriented intervention.