Culmination of our projects!

By Stella Odiwuor

          Now that we mastered the art of informed problem framing and put it into effective practice, we moved on to the next stages of the design process. This phase revolved around providing best-fit solutions to the challenges being faced by the community members while interacting with the previously introduced projects. [read our previous blog]

Step one: Idea generation. The team sat down through multiple sessions to come up with different ideas and approaches that would potentially resolve some of the issues that users are facing in the realm of financial inclusion while interacting with say, the microforestry sector. This process demanded creativity and empathy as they needed to put themselves in the users' shoes to come up with desirable ideas.

Step two: Concept Selection and Evaluation. Here, participants chose a concept that seemed to best address the problem they were solving. They then analyzed its features to determine the testability and plausibility in its context. Additionally, they identified what resources they would need to implement the proposed solution.

Step three:  Sketch modeling. Having decided on a solution and evaluated it, participants got the opportunity to express their ideas in 2D and 3D illustrations - from defined sketches and drawings, mind-maps, paper cut-outs and simply built illustrations. They used these pieces to present their ideas to the users.

Step four: User feedback. Teams had a wonderful learning experience when they went out to the field again to seek and understand user concerns about the solutions they were proposing. They acquired information that enabled them to recraft their ideas, marking the beginning of prototyping and iteration.

Meet our team members and learn more about what they came up with from the links attached below.

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Chamas/SACCOs/Savings Platform
Members: Asuka, Bancy, Penina, Tahir, Mercedes, and Nickson - Design Facilitator (Kenya)

Having discovered the challenges being faced by chamas in Embu, Chama Kuza (the savings platform team) uncovered the possibility of improving the efficiency of chamas by creating a digitized system where rural chamas can receive financial education through the practise and success of SACCOs and other chamas. How? See the link here.

Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1b2CSN0K3_uHkiEDNucRZUZZOSyhnHY-B 

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Financial Education
Members: Grace, Nancy, Umair, Hamid - Design Facilitator (Pakistan), Harriet, Joshua, and Ilana.

Amidst the many facets that Financial Education is, the team was able to design a solution with and for a primary school where pupils and teachers work together to increase awareness of money. They took the approach of storytelling as a tool for teachers and parents to help children and themselves to make financial decisions. More descriptions in the link below.

Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V35Yg_73SpPMWAR0L75g-9e_1iQ7oMgK 

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Micro-forestry
Members: Gladys, Claudine - Design Facilitator (USA), Eva, Frank, Ismail, and Eric.

Naga wa Fedha (as is the team's name), came to the realization that forest farmers and residents of Embu needed a way to get quicker returns from planting so that they are sufficiently motivated to continue planting trees. They came with a software system that would use data mapping to show users where they would find resources and get rewards for planting trees. Learn more below.

Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UukF_VE4Jp7gRLT0PfXwRHPRhsP04LEx 

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Solar lanterns and Systems
Members: Charlotte, Lydia, Kevin, Clau, John, and Alois - Design Facilitator (Kenya)

After endless prototypes and iteration processes, the team came up with a solution dubbed "Solar Chama" where local residents of a small area in Embu would come together and purchase one solar panel that they would share for home purposes. They would also collaborate in paying the initial cost and finish off the installments together. More can be found by clicking the link here.

Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IFTIlNfV5uuK7hmCOM6dJdotEXg1VvTg

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Valuing Waste
Members: Sampson, Julia, Tracy, Peter, Anchimbom, Kelvin, and David - Design Facilitator (Kenya)

This team came up with a solution to cater to both the waste creators and waste collectors. They proposed to create a USSD platform synced with M-Pesa (Kenya's mobile money system) where the waste creators would receive money after participating in recycling activities. Find out how!

Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZPJf_Fk5PlKc3tZ27V-S6KIGYBqAi9Pt