Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) recently hosted a two days Human Centered Design (HCD) Training Workshop incorporating all aspects of the Human Centered Design Approach. The workshop held from April 13 to 14, 2016 at RAN Office Premises on Plot 30, Upper Kololo Terrace  was well attended (with over 20 students) despite the unpredictable weather and heavy rain showers. Innovation is a three part combination of business, technology and human needs. It is all about driving new behaviors, value addition and creation, outperforming the norm and system transformation. Innovation is driven by insight into human needs and behaviors. The HCD Training provides a strategic approach to the concept of innovation which frames problems creatively and generates innovative solutions, strategies, systems and paradigms at the nexus of domains. The Human Centered Design Approach breaks down the innovation process into five major modes to consider including Need Finding, Design Thinking, Synthesis and Framework, Conceptualization, Prototyping and Storytelling, all of which emphasize the need to work back and forth between the human need to be met and the solution that is being designed. The Workshop comprised of a series of presentations with hands-on activities and challenges for the participants to actively take part in. At the end of the presentations, participants were then tasked to work in groups to solve real life challenges faced in different community settings. They employed the Human Centered Approach to come up with solutions, prototype them and then pitch their ideas to the group of participants. This allowed all participants to go through the dynamic process of Innovating for the end user but also receive feedback for further development of the solution form the rest of the participants. Participants were from different departments of Makerere University including Industrial and Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Public Health, Social Sciences, Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. This led to the formation of multidisciplinary teams providing diverse opinions and approaches to the group challenges given. These are the type of teams RAN encourages students, faculty and the community to work with/in if we are to develop real transformative solutions to address communities most pressing challenges. The Human Centered Design Training not only introduced the concept of innovation to the participants but also gave them skills they could apply whenever they think of an idea; design a concept but also in their day-today life. The Human Centered Design Training is one of those opportunities all persons should benefit from. Visit https://www.ranlab.org/resilientafrica-network-ran-offers-the-human-centered-design-hcd-course to register for this training either at the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) or at your own institution or premises.

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