Sago Network

Sago Network is a volunteer team of design and development professionals focused on facilitating community development projects that bring together the skill and energy of designers, architects, engineers, development practitioners, students, local organisations and developing communities. Sago believes that communities must be at the centre of their own development process, determining their own objectives, planning their future path and actively implementing change. At the core of Sago Network’s projects is an exploration of how design and development thinking can benefit ‘the other 90%’ of society and contribute to positive and sustainable development. Each project draws together the Network’s diverse design, development and construction skills to partner with motivated local communities in design-driven projects that address development needs in a holistic and sustainable manner.

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Knowledge Exchange & Capacity Building

The Network’s methodology has been honed from the team’s involvement in community development research and execution around the world, including projects in Canada, South Africa, Papua New Guinea and throughout Australia. Sago Network encourages an exchange of energy, ideas and knowledge among the professionals, students and community members involved in each of its projects in an effort to build the capacity of all involved to shape their own future vision with ongoing, sustainable and self-directed development projects.

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Sago Studio 2013

The team’s most recent project, Sago Studio 2013, brought together students and professionals from the fields of design, engineering, architecture and community development to work with the community of Laukanu, a Papua New Guinean community on the Huon Gulf of Morobe Province. The project was an intensive design-build process delivered over three weeks that built upon previous water and sanitation efforts with the people of Laukanu and extended upon the community’s ongoing toilet construction programme. The project continued to explore how design thinking can benefit critical community need and firmly aimed to be capacity building by encouraging knowledge exchange and creative collaboration between all participants. The real proof of success, however, will be determined by whether the community can achieve their own goal of constructing the next 10 toilets throughout the village and the Sago team are staying in touch to keep up the encouragement and collaboration!

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