About Makerere RIF Grant at RAN

ResilientAfrica Network received funding from Makerere University Research and Innovation Fund to institutionalize a multidisciplinary Innovation ecosystem across Makerere University. The grant supports the design of the Innovation courses for incorporating in the University teaching curriculum, monthly innovation events, training of students and Faculty in Human-Centered Design, and incubation support to University-based innovation projects at an early stage. ResilientAfrica Network recognizes the importance of startups and University innovation ecosystems as key engines to grow innovation and spur entrepreneurship. With a strong belief in “taking the university to the community”, RAN will support Makerere University to harness the ingenuity and passion of university faculty, students, and entrepreneurs to deliver a great learning experience on how to identify great ideas/ innovations, grow and diffuse them into the affected societies. The outputs of these activities include; Training students and faculty in Human-Centered Design; Skills and knowledge on how to Systematically identify and understand local problems/ needs to inform innovation design; Establish a network of student and Faculty innovators ready to work with community representatives, local entrepreneurs and mentors to tackle the looming challenges; Innovation course on Innovation design and Innovation management

About Human-Centered Design Course 

RAN uses the Human-centered design methodology to equip individuals with skill sets and knowledge in creative problem-solving. Design thinking is an approach that frames problems creatively and generates highly innovative solutions, intervention pathways, strategies, systems, and paradigms at the nexus of domains. It involves building a deep empathy with people; generating tons of ideas; building prototypes and sharing with end-users to get feedback before one puts out the innovative new solution in the market. The process involves making ideas visual, tangible, and experiential. We emphasize the importance of closely working with the communities, emphasizing that this is more powerful than designing solutions for them. During the HCD training participants work in teams and after learning the design cycle we engage them in a Design Challenge to identify problems and solutions, come back in their teams to reframe the problem, synthesize their findings, brainstorm solutions, converge and take forward an idea to develop, prototype and test.

Content of the Virtual Innovation Course;

  • Team Formation and Framing the Design Challenge
  • Empathy Mapping and Talking with Users
  • Ideation
  • Need Finding
  • User Journeys
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Pitching