Validating Asumptions before jumping into solutions

HI Shemeer,

In our experience at ASPIRe, we find that NGOs at times have pre-conceived ideas and solutions and are in a hurry to find technology that can help them put it to work. However we we have noticed that often the solutions don’t hold up as they are based on assumptions about people that have not been validated. That if such and such app is there people will do X, if people have this information they will do Y . We believe it is critical to call out one’s assumptions and validate them even for grassroots organizations that are very connected to the realities on the ground. Do you face a similar issue in your work with your partners and what is the process you use to help them dive deeper into their assumptions? Thank you!

Hi Ira,

We have had a similar experience in our journey. Both while designing our own solutions and also while holding space for our partners while they discover and co-create solutions for the communities they work with.

  • Technology tends to exclude vulnerable communities (like vulnerable communities, frontline workers) that it’s meant to serve. User agency and co-creation are not central to the solution design process - Process excludes lived experiences of communities or on-the-ground experiences of frontline workers.
  • Solutions are most often expert-driven, proprietary, inaccessible and unaffordable

One reason for this that we have found are that dialogues between key stakeholders are broken in the process of solution discovery/design.

[X denotes possible broken dialogues during solution design]

One way we make the design more inclusive is by following a process that includes Stakeholder Mapping, needs assessment, arranging solution Impact by levels, etc. This has helped us co-create designs like

We will be happy to walk your cohort with a demo of the process through an online interactive session. Will coordinate with you for the session details separately.

Hope this will be helpful. And thank you for doing the important work you all do at ASPIRe! We are big fans of your work. :partying_face:

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Thank you Shemeer, a session around this would be great, will be in touch!

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Thank you ASPIRe team for the intereaction with your awesome cohort of fellows. I learnt a lot form the process and hope that the team found it useful too.

Some fav slides from the session

Here is a link to the full interactive presentation used during the session

Thank you @Pallavi for helping me think through the slides and flow.