Designing for and with Girls: Using Human-Centered Design to Promote Reproductive Health Choice

Posted by Nicole Moran on February 4, 2021 at 10:51 am


“Find out if her aspirations are grounded in more practical, immediate desires or if she’s looking ahead and daydreaming about what her future might hold. That way, you can ground the conversation about contraception in terms that resonate.”

In light of the complex barriers adolescents may encounter in accessing reproductive health services, employs a human-centred design (HCD) approach to understand the context in which girls live and co-create solutions with them. By partnering with sexual and reproductive health (SRH) organisations across Sub-Saharan Africa, keeps girls at the centre of programming designed to support informed contraception choices. This book captures stories, tools, and perspectives that can help guide SRH practitioners in creating services tailored to adolescent girls.

HCD consists of three phases. The Inspiration Phase involves building empathy: learning directly from the people you’re designing for as you come to understand their needs. The Ideation Phase is a time for making sense of what you have learned, identifying opportunities for design, and prototyping possible solutions. The Implementation Phase entails bringing the solution to life and eventually to market.

While the solutions themselves may take different forms depending on the context, there is a common set of needs that claims must be addressed in designing for and with an adolescent girl: relevance (leading with what matters to her), acceptance (building support for contraception among the people in her life), confidence (helping her understand her options), guidance (ensuring services respond to her needs and lifestyle), and access (equipping providers to support her journey).

Each of these needs is the subject of one portion of the book, which is built around the Socio-Ecological Framework. The book features case studies, questions to ask, actions to try (e.g., invent a teen drama chronicling young love, where contraception is positioned as a way to express love and devotion), methods to adapt (e.g., photo journal, community trivia, role-play), and guidance on scaling (e.g., tools for tracking and adapting for scale).

To read the report, see here


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