OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

JAMBO - the process of creating a collection of educational books

JAMBO is a scheme that utilises the local people in every step of the process so that they can be equipped, and then potentially use those skills later on in life in other areas. The end product in the process is a collection of educational, playful books informing parents and allowing children to play with it. Each book will present one story about a key theme, for instance nutrition or health care. The books will have interchangeable 3D pieces to make it playful for children, so they can play alone with the book. The nutrition book if we use it as an example, will come along with some vegetable seeds, to teach and encourage parents to plant them, so children can see its growth and more importantly how to do it!

Photo of Daniel Martinez da Cruz
28 21

Written by






UPDATE:

-We have updated the summary of our idea as we have evolved along the way from creating a collection of books, to a process that is bigger than the books. We talked about using the local people to produce as much of the books in-house as possible to reduce shipping costs and to give ownership, but through talking and looking at other peoples ideas, we think that every step of the process has a chance to equip people, so why not give them the opportunities that they may not always have?

-A very good point was raised about the fathers in this process, and after good conversation and idea sharing its a great idea to get the Fathers involved in the designing process of the books in terms of the visuals and digital layout. We would do this in partnership with MECPU who brought this to our attention and the process in which they are getting fathers involved and teaching them ICT skills. By teaching the fathers these skills, they are involved in the process and can be part of the vast team (much like openideo) in creating these products, giving them ownership of the products, but also they are then equiped with these great skills that they can then use outside of the JAMBO project and potentially go into a career in the area! Wed love to partner up, and have the fathers involved in this process! 
 

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

This idea will benefit parents and children in Kakamega, one key town we have looked at that is located in Kenya. Thesebooks provide parents with essential information but has playful elements like the removable shapes, for the children to enjoy and have fun whilst becoming familiar with the images and learning from them.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

We could test this idea by creating a few prototypes and send them to families in London that we know locally/personally. This way we will be able to observe the children interacting with the parents as well as the book. We can also see how effective the information is that we have provided to the parents, and the way in which we have communicated it.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

To make this idea real we would require partnerships with local manufacturers and businesses to try and create the books locally rather than have them imported. We would also require help from local people as we don’t want to write the stories without having an informed opinion on the style and techniques in which people tell stories already in Kenya, as we want to design with them and not at them.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.

28 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Ayman Hanafi
Team

Thanks Daniel. What an amazing idea! This will be a great inspiration to all involved but especially for the children who will learn as they play. This idea will also be embedded in their minds for future generations, thus improving future life styles.

Spam
Photo of Thais Nascimento
Team

Hello Ayman! We truly believe that this idea can somehow improve childs lifestyle in an educational way, and we hope to inspire as many lifes as possible! Thank you so much for the positive comment!

Spam
Photo of Felipe Bottrel
Team

Brilliant idea guys! I liked how it can tell different stories according to the target community and how efficient it is to teach kids through reading and playing. Also, the prototype was really well done. Now, I think the team should really try to connect with other organisations from the OpenIDEO community to bring this project to life. The concept is good, but if it was implemented, it would be amazing. Keep going team! =)

Spam
Photo of Thais Nascimento
Team

Thank you Felipe! The idea is exactly to try to connect with other organisations beyond the OpenIDEO. We already received some positive comments from an International Programme, and we are looking forward to bring this project to life!

Spam
Photo of Yee Ting (Christy) Chan
Team

for interchangeable 3D pieces, how about using magic tap, this holds ,tear easier and safe.

Spam
Photo of asif masood
Team

Hi Yee this is one of the things we have discussed as a group and we will be taking it in to consideration thank you.

Spam
Photo of Thais Nascimento
Team

Hello Yee! We considered the idea of using magic tape at first, it is really safe and easy to tear. But they don't last for too long, so we thought about other ways to connect the interchangeable pieces. Thanks for your contribution!

Spam
Photo of Jéssica Casagrande
Team

Amazing idea, guys! It's really good how the local residents will be involved in this project! You can try to make a collection with more topics such as treating diseases, activities related to the environment, how to make toys from recycled, to be made and distributed to local residents.

Spam
Photo of Juliana Dill Mello Martins
Team

Hey, Jessica! Yes, we were considering exploring other relevant themes such as these you mentioned, but for the prototyping we chose just one, to see how it would work. But we intent to create other books exploring these themes. And the one about how to make toys from recycled materials is a really good idea! Thanks a lot for your contribution!

Spam
Photo of Ayman Hanafi
Team

Hello Daniel, great issues being addressed here. What is more important than an early education and especially lessons in how to improve hygiene, sanitation and nutrition.Good luck Daniel.

Spam
Photo of Betul Salman
Team

lovely idea, I was thinking of creating Something like this, but we went with another direction.
Are you thinking the book should be in English or in the language people in Kenya mostly speak in?

Spam
Photo of Daniel Martinez da Cruz
Team

hey Betul, well we chose English as that is widely spoken in Kenya, along with Swahili, but either way this could be printed in multiple languages, for Kenya, but we also discussed (if it works well) that similar book collections could be put together and specifically designed for other countries. The concept is not just the book collection, but its the way in which they are designed and the collaboration with the countries people, before the production phase, that is part of the whole concept, so it can be adapted to any country in need.

Spam
Photo of Julia Starzyk
Team

Hey. I really appreciate you take into consideration some of my coments and improved your idea. Good to see a progres. What if you would take the next step? You are saying about prototyping a few books and sending them to comunities in London. How about going one step back. You have done already a prototype. You can leave it to lay down nicely on the shelf in someones bedroom or make a use of it and test it on 'local community' right? Try it! Maybe you will discover something really cool.

Spam
Photo of Ariadne Helen Quintino
Team

Hi, Julia. We really appreciate your tips, different point of views are extremely necessary to improve our idea. You're right, maybe if we try to do some experiences with local families may facilitate this step of our research. We will try to improve it with the best and more touchable possibilities we have, so we can get a faster feedback at this point. Thank you very much for you contribution!

Spam
Photo of Masheyat Chowdhury
Team

That is a great idea Julia, thank you. We will have a better insight into what people think about our idea once they have tried it out, this way we'll get a quick and easy response about our idea.

Spam
Photo of Charlotte Norris
Team

Hi guys, you all know I totally love the idea. I do think as a suggestion, it may be worth thinking about other things infants can learn in the same way (ie. alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes). The vegetable idea is great to provide parents and children alike with information on good nutrition and diet. Have you also thought about materials that could be used since the first prototyping stage? I would be happy to let you test this idea out on my 2 year old to see how he interracts with it, as you mention in the "testing it out right now" section. Well done though, a really thoughtful and positive way of combining play, learn and nutrition. Making it something the parents can do with the kids is also a really beneficial for infants of this age group.
Charlotte

Spam
Photo of Ariadne Helen Quintino
Team

Hey Charlotte, thank you so much for you comment. I do appreciate you interest in our idea. The main propose of this specific book is to provide information to parents in Kenya about nutrition, because one of the main reasons of mortality in that country is bad nutrition. Jambo is an idea that can be adapted to the problems of each area of any country. About the materials, we think that it could be made of waste fibrous material, so the book could be fabricated in the same country it would be applied.
And it would be lovely if we could test this idea with your little boy. It would give us a great feedback to improve our project. Thank you for helping us!

Spam
Photo of Daniel Martinez da Cruz
Team

Yeah i agree with Ariadne, the idea for the book we made as a prototype is based around nutrition, as a form of visualisation, but the collection of books that the end goal is to make for every region in need, is to include not just a book on nutrition, but books covering lots of areas like e.g. health care.

It would be great to test out this prototype on Charlie as see if he approves haha! Thanks for the opportunity!

Spam
Photo of Ayman Hanafi
Team

This would be a difficult task for some children but you would be surprised at what some children can produce. They can sometime say or do something that sets you thinking and a whole new concept evolves.Well done!

Spam
Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Great idea and well produced prototype guys! I love how the information are conveyed through storytelling about each vegetables and also ways to cook them! How are you going to deliver the vegetable seeds? Is going to be placed under every pop up pieces or you have separate packaging for it? Also how could you make the interchangeable piece be more interesting and not so apparent? Possibly the slot where the piece goes could be a silhouette image so that it kind of give out a hint but not state the obvious. Remember the target audience is 0-5 year old so it cannot be too tricky. Also how are you going to teach fathers IT skills? They probably do not have access to these technologies. Perhaps you could have design sessions where you build their confidence on sketching and generating ideas. Thus, they could contribute their creative thoughts in making the storytelling book. Well done guys keep it up!

Spam
Photo of Ayman Hanafi
Team

Good thinking Bidur. I have seen plastic vegetables which are big and look real used to teach bilingual children. They have names like Colin Carrot, Billy Brocolli and so on. They are great teaching resources and give children lots of fun. They sometimes come with seeds and planting instructions. Perhaps some of these could be introduced to the parents and children which are very visual and this could inspire further interest in the urge to grow and cultivate.

Spam
Photo of Petrit Kasabaqi
Team

well done team, a very cool prototype. I really like the the way in which you have used characters to tell a story and to inform the reader about the nutritional benefits of different vegetables. I think it would be a good idea to test this on some users, the reason being that this book is primarily targeted at parents (they will be reading the book and gaining knowledge from it) and I think the style of the book at the moment and cartoons could come across as patronising to some of them. I might be wrong but a good question to ask yourself is if someone gave you this book how would it make you feel? For young adults like us for example maybe a comic book style would be more appropriate so what about Parent's in Kakamega? maybe consider a more mature style of cartoons which the children will find fun but the Adult's will also like and feel comfortable with.

Here are some different examples of cartoon styles i found online from a quick search-

http://webneel.com/design/3d-tvc/obzhorka-3d-tv-commercial/2/2/Best%203D%20character%20design-2/jpg?nid=7860&vid=7862

http://webneel.com/design/3d-tvc/obzhorka-3d-tv-commercial/2/1/Best%203D%20character%20design-1/jpg?nid=7860&vid=7862

http://webneel.com/design/3d-tvc/match-com-tv-commercial/3/3/Best%203D%20character%20design-3/jpg?nid=7860&vid=6869

I know your not graphic designers and some of these are way too hard to do but maybe you can draw some inspiration from these examples. Anyway I really like the concept as a whole. Also if you have time have a look at tyvek, a synthetic paper like material which is super durable and lightweight. We are doing a life hacks book and this is one material we considered making the pages out of.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/625059603/paperwallet-a-super-thin-tyvek-wallet-designed-by

Spam
Photo of Ayman Hanafi
Team

Yes Petrit, you are thinking well about this idea. Is it good enough to give them books? Maybe when some books are made, appoint someone in education to arrange a meeting and invite parents and children to come along like a fun day and get them interested in the growing and then cooking the vegetables so they can see the nutritional advantages involved. Thanks.

Spam
Photo of Vishagan Baskaramoorthy
Team

Very clear prototype! By having an more interactive experience whilst reading, it can help remember things more easily. Perhaps look into examples of similar types of books that are already out there and if they have any unique features you could effectively implement into your design. Could the aspect of interchangeable pieces be explored further in terms of what else could be done(such as pop up sections, puzzles, sliding sections and more)? Also, as you want the local people to be involved throughout the whole process, perhaps you could encourage the children to create their own books in these styles for them to share with the community? Overall, there's some great potential here!

Spam
Photo of Daniel Martinez da Cruz
Team

hey there Vishagan,

Yes i think exploring other styles of pieces like you said would be good, especially as the books will probably have thicker pages (made from recycled waste fibrous material).

When you say "perhaps you could encourage the children to create their own books in these styles for them to share with the community?" do you mean the 0-5 year olds? This could be a bit difficult, but never the less maybe we can add pages in the back of the books for notes and ideas, and imbed some sort of writting implement into the back page? Maybe using similar technology to that of an etch-a-sketch, i dont mean having a thick etch-a-sketch on back but the fact its renewable and you dont need ink or paper, and when your done you can rub it off. Hard to define haha hope you understand.

Thanks for your input!

-Dan

Spam
Photo of Madrasa Early Childhood Programme Uganda (MECPU)
Team

Dear Jambo Team,

We love your idea! We enjoy how this book can be a resource for both parents (information) and children (playable pieces). At MECPU, we also work with our ECD community of practice to create materials from natural and recyclable materials and this warms our hearts.

Are the volunteer groups from the target communities?

Have you had success in getting buy-in from fathers (rather than mothers and older female siblings, as is often the case here in Uganda)? We find that the largest buy-in to the use of materials occurs through "ownership" of the process and we are looking at ways in bringing fathers into the equation using ICT technology.

Looking forward to reading more about JAMBO books,
MECPU Team

Spam
Photo of Juliana Dill Mello Martins
Team

Thank you so much! We're glad you loved the idea! It's so good to know that you work with creating materials from natural and recyclable materials, because this is a very important point of our idea. We were thinking about making the production as more local as possible, to encourage local people to work on this project, to learn from it, and to feel part of it. We intend to connect all the community with JAMBO. So it would be great if we could find volunteer groups from the target communities, we would work with them and support in each step of the JAMBO production.

Spam
Photo of Daniel Martinez da Cruz
Team

Hey there MECPU!

yes i agree with Juliana when talking about natural and recyclable materials, its something we were thinking of very early on and one of the foundations of the project.

Again Juliana answered perfectly, that we do want to bring communities in on the planning as it gives ownership and insight into culture and style.

It is a very good point you make about the fathers, and i like the ICT aspect. I think it would be great to involve the fathers (and older teenagers and men that are potentially not fathers yet) in the ICT part of the process.

Yes we do need groups of people to help us with the planning and organising and testing, but we do need people with ICT skills as its a vital part of the process.

By training fathers and young men to design and produce work on the computer, we equip them with skills and practise, it gives them ownership and also they then have skills to do other work. So JAMBO is not just a collection of books that teach, but it can be a process that arms people with skills to use beyond JAMBO.

One of main purposes of JAMBO is to bring community together, and if we unintentionally exclude people then thats going against the very thing we want to achieve. If we involve the local people in as many parts of the process as we can, then it becomes something that is not just 30% made by the local people, but we can aim for 100%! why not?