HCDExchange is a community of people and organizations collaborating to advance learning, evidence, and practices at the intersection of human-centered design (HCD) and adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). With a focus on low-resource settings in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, we aim to elevate young people’s agency and transform sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents.
Our goals: Improved programs, more learning, and solid evidence
The HCDExchange works to achieve two core goals: (1) accelerated development of a robust and transparent HCD+ASRH field, and (2) increased learning and evidence about the application of HCD in ASRH to drive investment, policy, and practice. We convene, coordinate, and support individuals and organizations to advance:
- The intersection of HCD and ASRH program design and implementation
- The curation of evidence on best practices, models, added value, effectiveness, and scaling up of HCD
- The availability of public goods, resources such as standards, guides, and tools
- Opportunities for learning, collaboration, engagement, and partnering
- Youth participation in program design and implementation
- Community ownership and active participation from a diverse set of stakeholders
Scroll down to learn more about where we’ve come form, our vision for the future, and our proposed core principles.
Our history and vision for the future
Below is an overview of where we’ve been and where we’re going. We envision three phases, and are currently in Phase 2.
Phase 1 / Imagine: Tanzania, January 2018
Phase 1 was about coming together for the first time and people starting to see themselves as a community with a shared agenda. The concept of the HCDExchange emerged when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and William & Flora Hewlett Foundation funded a convening to bring together people and organizations working at the intersection of HCD and ASRH.
Fifty-nine participants spent three days sharing experiences, comparing insights, and building connections. This included deep dives into the learnings from pioneer HCD+ASRH projects:
- Beyond Bias— in Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Pakistan
- Future Fab/Choice for Change — Kenya
- Adolescents 360 — Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria
- Divine Divas — Zambia
Participants identified four thematic areas to explore further via working groups: Adolescent Insights, Scaling HCD, Partnerships, and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning. (Download the convening report; view A360’s subsequently produced Commitment to Ethics in Youth-Powered Program Design.)
Phase 2 / Forming: January 2020 – December 2021
Phase 2 is about establishing community infrastructure and a shared vision. With support from the same set of funders in 2020 through to the end of 2021, the HCDExchange’s current vision focuses on:
- Facilitating youth agency and leadership
- Acting as a focal point to advance learning and the generation of evidence
- Developing a community with active participation and a diverse membership
- Establishing the infrastructure and systems to grow and support the community
More specifically, our vision for the HCD+ASRH field is one that is:
- Democratized — HCD practices are accessible and inclusive of diverse participants
- Localized — contextually relevant
- Mutualized — jointly owned
Phase 3 / Sustaining: 2020 and beyond
Phase 3 is about sustainable impact. Our vision: an HCDExchange with a broad and active membership, a diversified funding base that powers community-led initiatives, and a responsive Secretariat. Most importantly, it continues to advance the HCD+ASRH field, which is characterized by:
- A solid and growing evidence base
- Established learning pathways that boost capacity and confidence
- Consistent meaningful youth engagement
- Institutionalized and mainstreamed HCD in ASRH (funders expect & resource it, programs and projects integrate it as the norm)
- Accessible and replicable practices that are spread across geographies
- An ecosystem with considerable trust and credibility
Proposed core principles
We propose to the community that the following principles guide our work. In September, we will hold strategy community calls to refine these further. Review our word list to see how we understand the words we use.
Shaped by the lived realities of youth
Our community is guided by adolescent and youth voices, needs, and ideas. We are committed to the practice of meaningful youth engagement.
Co-creation & joint ownership
Our community is driven by passionate members who rally behind a culture, norms, and a vision that they have developed together.
Every member of our community has autonomy and equal rights. Their experiences, expertise, and agency is recognized, and appreciated.
Integrated & holistic
We consider the context around ASRH, taking a holistic approach and tackling interconnected issues such as power dynamics, gender, livelihoods, and education.
While we come together around advancing HCD+ASRH, our strength emerges from our differences. We cultivate diversity, seeking to include people from a range of geographies, ages, cultures, sexual identities, and abilities.
We celebrate and grow from lessons learned from both failures and successes. Learning is our main goal, so we strive to create opportunities and spaces where peers can be vulnerable with regards to what they don’t know, or what didn’t go well.
We start by listening and value humility and empathy. We strive to understand ideas, challenges, and contexts from multiple perspectives. We make our assumptions visible and remain open to changing, adapting, or starting again from the beginning.
This community builds on an ethos of forming deep bonds and strong relations with one another. We envision a future heritage of stories, tools, and resources that inspire and nurture our members’ aspirations.