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Let people talk: Human-Centered Design (HCD) to promote the concept of vaccination completion and the understanding of vaccine status

We involve people from underrepresented groups to design a communication strategy to increase their understanding on vaccination schedule.

Photo of Ryoko Sato
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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one to two sentences (required 350 Characters)

We use Human-Centered Design (HCD) to design an effective communication strategy to increase the understanding of the concept of vaccination completion and the status of their children's vaccination. We will involve people from underrepresented groups (the poor, minorities etc) in the urban communities to design the communication strategy.

Explain the innovation (2,500 characters)

To fully protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases, repeated vaccination is critical. However, the full immunization rate among children remains low in African countries. One of the common reasons for the incomplete vaccination is caregivers’ misunderstanding that they thought the children had already been fully immunized. Using Human-Centered Design (HCD), we aim to design the effective communication strategy for achieving the objective of having caregivers understand where their children are in the vaccination schedule and what it means by vaccination completion. This project directly benefits people who belong to underrepresented groups in the urban communities by increasing their knowledge on vaccination completion as well as increasing the vaccine take-up among them. We also hope to empower this specific group by involving them in the design of the communication strategy. This project can indirectly the entire community in the urban areas through the herd immunity and positive spillover effects of vaccination behaviors. Our idea is innovative because, unlike existing projects (such as cash incentives and reminder projects), 1) we aim to nudge caregivers for vaccination while improving their knowledge, and 2) we involve caregivers to design an improved communication strategy (HCD). Knowledge is the power. As much as strengthening the service-delivery system is critical to enhance the vaccination coverage, we approach the problem through empowering the demand side, especially the disadvantaged population. This idea can be broadly applicable to any urban communities in GAVI countries which observe the high mobility.

Which part(s) of the world does this innovation target?

  • Eastern Africa
  • Middle Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Western Africa
  • Central America
  • South America
  • South-eastern Asia
  • Southern Asia

Geographic Focus

Any urban areas of low-income countries

Stage of Innovation

  • Blueprint

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

A local partner who specializes in HCD will be engaged in all aspects of HCD phase. The collaboration with the primary healthcare agency and health clinics in the country/district is crucial for the coordination of the service delivery.

How is your idea unique? (750 characters)

The standard approach to increase the demand for the vaccination typically does not have the intensive involvement from the end-users. NGOs and researchers typically design the intervention. However, such a design might not be effective, as it has not involved the end-users at the design phase. Our idea aims to design the communication strategy which can actually work for end-users by involving them in the design phase. End-users know their own challenges more than us.

What is the name of your organization

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Explain your organization (250 characters)

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is a research organization which aims to promote health outcomes among people all over the world.

Type of Submitter

  • We are a formal part of a University or Research Institution

Gender and Diversity (500 characters)

We actively prioritize women as the primary target as they are the primary caregivers of children. We especially focus on women from underrepresented group in urban communities We will also hire women as interviewers from the similar background.

Organization Location (less than 250 Characters)

Boston, USA We have not identified the specific country yet.

Size of organization (number of employees):

  • 21-100 people

Scale of organizational work

  • National (expansive reach within one country)

Applying to Gavi INFUSE

  • Referred by a friend / colleague


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Hi Ryoko Sato Great to have your contribution for the challenge. Such an interesting concept on how we might put our users as co-creators for the solution.

Since the challenge might be requiring ideas past the pilot/blueprint stage, I wonder what prototype are you thinking of building and testing so as to test some aspects of your solution?
How do you see your solution working at scale?

Would love some thoughts from Manisha Laroia , our other community team member.

Photo of Ryoko Sato

Hi Issac, Thank you for your comments! We are thinking of something visually attractive which can provide the real time feedback on the current vaccination status of caregivers' children. For example, (if affordable) a smartphone app, which can show where their children are in the process of the vaccination schedule, might be effective and intuitive. If digital technology is not quite affordable, then we can design an innovative vaccination card which can visually convey the similar information as the smartphone app. We are open and flexible for how end-users find it the most attractive/easy t o understand.
Whatever the communication strategy we prototype, we make sure that it is affordable, sustainable, and scalable. For example, the immunization card is widely implemented in many countries but the usefulness/easy-ness of the current immunization card to understand the concept of the vaccine completion is doubtful. We can simply replace the current design to the new one, developed through our HCD.