Although ICT clearly has the potential to contribute meaningfully to sustainable development and poverty alleviation, appropriate application of this technology is still very limited in many developing countries. However, participatory approaches to ICT development are quite promising for generating more appropriate ICT applications. In this paper we focus on a specific participatory approach, the ICT Roundtable process (RT process). Through the RT process relevant prototypes of ICT applications are generated and embedding of the innovation in the system is enhanced. The aim of this paper is to systemise the experiences of the trial-and-error process of developing the method of the RT process. We identify the structure and crucial principles of the RT process by analysing case studies and intervision sessions. The identified principles include: system thinking; multi-stakeholder involvement; participation; ownership; dialogue; learning; facilitation and organisation; step-wise approach; and networking. The conceptualisation of the process will allow the development of an evaluative framework to test the results and to improve the RT process.