DFID’s Innovation Hub team were faced with a challenge. They wanted to get ideas on poverty-related challenges from a broader range of people and understand those challenges from the perspective of the very people who were most affected by them. They wanted to work with communities around the world to get fresh, new ideas and solutions, which they could then test and prototype with user communities. And they wanted to have a conversation with people they could not normally reach.
DFID were approached by IDEO.org, which has a great reputation for designing products and services in collaboration with the end user. DFID knew that there was already a very strong online community, in IDEO.org’s sister organisation, openIDEO.com. Rather than set up something else, they took the opportunity to see how DFID could benefit from human-centred design and collaborative approaches. Together, DFID and IDEO.org developed the Amplify project.
Amplify will run for five years and will run ten challenges around poverty. The first is ‘how to make low-income urban areas safer and more empowering for women and girls’. The team work through a four-stage design process. The ultimate vision for Amplify is a collaborative design process that will be a conversation between a global community of problem-solvers, which is at every stage informed, shaped and challenged by users who can test and prototype the strongest emerging ideas.
In the final stage of the process, DfID award the best ideas with funding and 14 weeks of design support from IDEO.org. This will be particularly important for smaller or less experienced organisations to take their ideas forward.
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