Using Co-Design to Discern and Overcome Barriers to Employment in Cape Town

Melissa Densmore, Grace Jegede
In this paper we describe the co-design process to uncover the unemployment problem, in Cape Town, South Africa. In this research we engaged with unemployed or underemployed individuals at two different NGO sites in Cape Town. We engage, primarily with current and former students of two job readiness programmes and supplement our work with input from intermediary trainers. We outline our use of co-design under the umbrella of Participatory Design and discuss our findings, in resonance with the different documentations of benefits of intermediaries. Our findings highlight the benefits of working with intermediaries from the NGOs and the benefit of working with NGOs themselves as embedded community partners. Additionally we show that co-design can be used to successfully uncover issues around a problem such as unemployment.