On Thursday, 19th May 2016 the RAN Team had the privilege to train yet another cohort of 40 One Health Research Fellows in the Design Thinking (DT) course. The Fellows had been undertaking other courses in One Health, infectious disease outbreak management, leadership, gender and community engagement, in preparation for field deployment; it was therefore a great opportunity to introduce them to the Human Centered Design (HCD) approach to solution development.

The One Health team was a multi-disciplinary group of graduate and undergraduate fellows from the fields of Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and Public Health among others. These were taken through a comprehensive DT course coupled with hands-on team based exercises on Needfinding, Prototyping and Pitching. The participants valued all sessions indicating that these were informative to the kind of work they were soon to undertake. The One Health students have been trained to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks by the One Health Central and Eastern Africa network, it is thus critical that they are empowered with Design Thinking Skills so that they can correctly define a problem/challenge and come up with appropriate solutions to address those community challenges. We believe that from their filed exposure will arise some great social entrepreneurship ideas that could be further groomed for implementation .The students were immersed in the interactive sessions and confessed that they had been exposed to great innovation tools which they will put to use to conceptualize impactful and innovative ideas. “I can now propose a solution based on human needs”; said Alice one of the students.

As the RAN Lab, we continue to offer this training to empower students, faculty and all other individuals to base their interventions on human needs; to learn to listen to people, empathize with them, make use of the power of observation in community consultation, and understand what the problem is before they embark on the design phase. This keeps all of us on the same page but most importantly enhances heavy community involvement in the Innovation Process or Solution development process. We plan to conduct follow-on activities and de-brief with these Fellows when they complete their field studies so as to continue mentoring and providing the necessary support to them to innovate.

Benefit from the HCD Approach training, join us in developing solutions to address communities’ most pressing challenges. Details shared here http://www.ranlab.org/human-centered-design-hcd

“Solutions through Innovation”