Turning ideas into action, using human-centred design
Ideas need a constant process of refinement and are developed, they should go through rigorous analysis and grinned within the team. I am sharing my involvement in such process where I see ideas come from conception to implementation.
In my career I never had access to working with these issues and I am happy to have been able to work with different individuals and organizations working on Early Childhood Development while supporting them in learning HCD and accessing the OpenIDEO community for feedback.
I had the opportunity of witnessing how communities where physically challenged children were not awarded special attention have accepted the benefits of physiotherapy care, through
Manoj, 'SOS Children Village’. I also got to meet
Isha from Possible Health Care and see first hand how in a remote district of Nepal (Achham), where road access is a challenge, users get health services such as pediatric health services. Their i
dea and the works dazzled me.
I have been a huge fan of Human Centered Design and when I learned about the opportunity to reach out to organizations and help them learn the tools, I could not resist not joining Amplify’s Zero to Five challenge as Nepal country manager. I wanted to maximize the reach of Human Centered Design tools in the communities of Nepal where opportunities to learn such tools is limited. I wanted to bridge the gap between problems and solutions by helping ideas get platform where they could be amplified. For this purpose, I planned to get maximum outreach possible. I made use of every possible channel available to me in order to get to the group of people and organizations that had been working for ECD, focused on awareness among the target group and the benefits they could get from being associated with such platforms. Rather than number of participants, my primary focus was to take the message of the challenge to widest range possible. During my outreach, I encouraged small-scale organizations working for ECD and also associated a few with volunteers to help frame the ideas. I managed to get the message spread through online news portal and social media tools.
To strengthen the outreach and educate organizations working in ECD about the HCD tools I faced challenges with the outreach strategy, venue for meetup. Meetups would be an effective tool to have a discussion over the process and idea evolution process. Gaining expert’s support for meetup bothered me and while I continued meeting new people and spreading the message of the competition, I developed new approaches to deal with these challenges. I learned that the small organizations were more responsive than the bigger ones. Meetings with experts in implementing ideas and helping people develop and refine ideas helped me gain more insight on approaches to support the participants. Each participant had a different story and needed a tailored solution to their problems; I had to adopt suitable techniques while dealing with them. Moments when you can convince and communicate the concept of collaboration to the participants were one of the happiest, for this invited the
winner of previous challenge who shared their experience collaborating with their partners overseas. I visited the offices and field where the participants had been working and could empathize with the objectives they have been working.
Getting to meet the users who have benefited from the participants was an amazing experience. I met one of the parents who sent their children at
Orchid Garden Nepal, who had been one of the participants in the competition and got wonderful feedback, she showed her deep gratitude towards the organization. Pushpa Adhikari, mother of a physically challenged child getting physiotherapy care from
Manoj Khatri termed his support as exceptionally commendable and she was full of tears while describing her son’s transformation through these years. With the faith of such mothers,
Reshma Shrestha (working in SOS Children Village Kavrepalanchok) wanted to amplify the acts of
Manoj and she chose openIDEO for that.
I was amazed to see higher number of positive responses to the outreach from small-scale organizations compared to larger and well-established organizations working in the field for decades. I believe that it is all about delivering to the users, who are apparently the consumers of the service we provide. In order to synthesize the observation and draw out unexpected insights, I combined empathy map along with the user experience map while helping participant prototype the solution. I realized that a step-by-step mentoring is essential for the participants with less knowledge with computer and English language skills. During our first meetup, I started off with English and realized that I could not reach all the participants, thus switched over to local language.
Orchid Garden Nepal's
Idea improved through the course of refinement and assistance with the idea development.
I believe that the use of HCD tools could bring the changes we want in our communities and these could be the tools we can use as a part of our lives. With my experiences in ecosystem development, I take designing solutions as a holistic approach, which requires insights of users, service providers, ideators and all the other stakeholders involved. Irrespective of my involvement with OpenIDEO, I am looking to continue on helping people amplify their ideas and linking them with appropriate platforms. In a scenario where, everyone deserves to have equal access to opportunity, I want information asymmetry to disappear.