My Body | My Future – Program Review
Using design thinking to support an inclusive midterm review of a large scale adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) program
Funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Plan Finland ran the My Body. My Future. programme from 2018-2021, which comprised of five projects implemented in Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, Laos and Myanmar to address adolescent sexual, reproductive health and rights issues and challenges.
Rather than conducting a traditional evaluation or a review drawing from traditional evaluation principles and practice, Plan Finland wanted to explore alternative evaluation approaches by applying design thinking and human centered design and allow for a more innovative, genuinely meaningful and engaging process and deliverables.
We designed a four phase design process to support this internal review exercise:
- Intent: Understand the objectives, aim and intent of the internal review exercise
- Learn: Conduct design research to gather insights from program teams in each country on their experiences and learnings
- Reflect and design: Incorporate the findings from the design research into a workshop design and conduct a two day co-creation workshop in Uganda with attendance by key stakeholders from the different country programmes to jointly reflect and decide on changes for the second half of the program
Throughout the phases, we used different design tools to help individuals and teams share and discuss their learnings. The tools applied allowed the teams to move beyond words and acronyms. By using visual mapping, storytelling, decision making matrices and limiting choice to 3 priorities, participants had to think in different ways than they would usually in their day to day work. With SRHR being a new topic for many of the country teams, the tools helped create a deeper dialogue on the challenges and opportunities around the programs and topic of implementation.
The different exercises gave everyone an equal forum to speak. Different group dynamics allowed for different conversations (silent individual thinking, team based thinking and action, sharing, country specific thinking, creating artefacts as a whole group, role play) and expression. The visual tools and methods allowed hearing impaired participants to engage in the work, as well.
With the input from the design research and the workshop, we synthesised the data into a strategic document outlining with key principles and action points for the team to take into consideration for the next phase of the programme.