The complexity of design for development (D4D), humanitarian engineering (HE), and similar projects emerges from multiple sources, including the overarching requirement to address complex sociotechnical problems by effectively engaging community members. However, missing from the literature on enacting D4D/HE projects is a clear framework that classifies extant community participation methods based on key characteristics, especially vis-à-vis level of community participation in problem definition and solution processes. To address this lack of a classification framework, we first conducted a systematized literature search to identify methods used in D4D/HE projects. This literature search resulted in 64 identified methods. Following an iterative, inductive, and systematic process to develop classification systems combined with content analysis, a bidimensional framework emerged to classify the methods. The first dimension of the framework organizes methods according to a spectrum of three levels of community engagement: (1) passive, (2) consultative, and (3) coconstructive. The second dimension classifies methods based on the part of the design process in which it is most appropriate to use them. We conclude the paper by discussing considerations engineers should reflect upon when using the framework to inform their projects, as well as opportunities for future research.

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