By Rimjhim Surana

HCD Consultant, HCDExchange

Our resident HCD Consultant, Rimjhim shares some of her top tips about how designers can better work with
ASRH clients and organizations.

Tip 1: Really Listen

As a designer we can often come to a project with a reasonably well formed design perspective whether this is a framework or method, but what is really quite key in using a HCD perspective in ASRH program design is the ability to listen carefully to all project stakeholders. So listening to community stakeholders on the ground is self-evident, however what is also important is really listening carefully to the program’s implementation team (practitioners). This will help you to understand the requirements of the AYSRH intervention and help guide you on which tools might be more appropriate. So be open to listening!

Tip 2: Have Empathy

Designers need to practice the mindset of empathy not just for community stakeholders but practitioners also! Sometimes the language that designers use (and not just designers!) can be very confusing (ideation is one example) and technical, and therefore not always well understood by others. In order to bridge the two (HCD and AYSRH) it’s important to think whether or not the words that are well understood by the design community are understood by others (in this case AYSRH practitioners) who will ultimately be implementing the intervention.

Tip 3: Make Things Tangible

As a designer when you come up with ideas that are not fully formed, it may not always seem actionable enough for an implementing team. So what is helpful is to bring them with you on this journey and make your ideas or examples or thoughts as tangible as possible. For example, if you are suggesting a workshop as a way of coming up with solutions, instead of focusing on selling the concept of the workshop, it is worth trying to be a little more concrete. For example, by setting an agenda and a workshop test run to show practitioners what this would look like and the potential benefits of doing it this way.

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