Background: The likelihood that research will be relevant to and accepted by end-users and their communities is enhanced when the perspectives of both the "researchers" and the "researched" are considered. The Tablets, Ring, Injections as Options (TRIO) Study, conducted with young women in Kenya and South Africa, assessed the acceptability and preferences of three placebo-only multi-purpose technology (MPT) forms for prevention of HIV and unintended pregnancy. The objective of this analysis was to assess whether, and if so how, the women participating in the TRIO Study perceived themselves as co-designers of the three MPT products. Methods: We conducted 55 in-depth interviews, 6 focus group discussions, and 5 dissemination workshops with TRIO Study participants. Woven throughout these activities were questions and opportunities for participants to reflect on their role in the study, and to what extent they identified with their role as a co-designer. Qualitative data from these activities were analyzed thematically. Results: The analysis revealed four key themes about what resulted in the women's views as co-designers: altruism, respectful treatment, agency, and reciprocity. The women were aware of their role in determining what end-users would and would not prefer and were motivated by a desire to help themselves and others. They recognized their role as co-designers and cited being treated well by study staff, being given a chance to make choices during the study period, and being recognized as equal partners of the researchers as the main reasons. Conclusions: If prevention products are going to be successfully developed, end-users and researchers must work hand in hand. Engaging participants meaningfully as co-designers in product development research can be a powerful tool in the effort to ensure new prevention products brought to market are acceptable to the population of interest.
“I felt like a TRIO champion”
End-user perspectives on their role as co-designers of multi-purpose technologies
Agot, K., Lutnick, A., Shapley-quinn, M. K., Ahmed, K., Okello, T., Van Der Straten, A., & The TRIO Study Team (2020). “I felt like a TRIO champion”: End-user perspectives on their role as co-designers of multi-purpose technologies. Gates Open Research, 4, . https://doi.org/10.12688/gatesopenres.13182.1