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DESIGN STRATEGIES for NGO’s case study: MDG’s #4 and 5

An exhibit created by Pratt Institute Graduate Communications Design Students New York City, Summer 2010


This exhibit was produced by graduate candidates from the Communications Design Department at Pratt Institute in New York City. The class, entitled ‘Design Advocacy,’ invites students to use creative thinking skills to frame challenges, seek opportunities, and offer innovative ways to conceive and execute projects for social change. Given the opportunity to exhibit at the 63rd Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference, we chose to focus on the theme ‘Global Health’ as it relates to the United Nations ‘Millennium Development Goals,’ specifically, addressing goal number 4 and 5: improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. We invited experts in the field to provide an in-depth understanding of the topic and its underlying causes, both at home and abroad. Students were required to research, strategize and create a meaningful solution to the problem brief—one that works across multiple mediums and makes a compelling argument to a new generation of both men and women. Given the audience for this exhibit, we decided to position our design concepts not simply as artifacts but as strategies to be employed by NGO’s. For these designers, this class offered an occasion to ground their creative process in a complex social issue. We hope for you—as an NGO leader, a health worker, a politician or an activist—this exhibit will offer some fresh ideas on how design might play a role in supporting your constituencies and communicating on the issues you care about.

Jean Brennan, co-teacher Associate Professor Graduate Communications Design Department, Pratt Institute Gala Narezo, co-teacher Co-founder ‘what moves you?’ NGO Representative for Art Center College of Design


Gala Narezo galanarezo@mac.com

Jean Brennan jeanbrennan@mac.com

Seema Krishnakumar seemskk@gmail.com

Matt Scheer matthewscheer@yahoo.com

Daniel Wiggins danielcwiggins@gmail.com

Sai Hingne saihingne@gmail.com

Carrie Madigan carrie_madigan@hotmail.com

Kelsey Welsch kelsey.welsch@gmail.com

Peter Jacobsen peter.jacobson@gmail.com

Amrithi Devarajan amrithid@gmail.com


Strategy #1: Tell a story Shadow Puppets in Rural India Agency:

Grassroots NGO

Target Audience:

Families in Developing Countries

Desired Outcome:

Family Planning

Cost:

Small

Description: Human behavior is driven by beliefs. Beliefs are created and changed by knowledge. An effective message that pulls an audience towards understanding needs to be communicated in a form that is at once familiar and playful. Puppetry is one of the most ancient forms of storytelling and offers the ability to creatively communicate meaningful messages. Of all art forms, it is probably the least restricted in form, design, colour and movement. It is also the least expensive of all animated visual art forms. This concept presents the idea that NGO’s might make use of a toolkit with the necessary instructions and materials for creating simple shadow puppets. Armed with characters and story ideas, healthcare activists are given the means to facilitate discussion amongst both women and men regarding family planning, while offering entertainment to the whole community. While there exists puppetry being used as a means for social messaging, often these productions are put on by skilled puppeteers with elaborately designed puppets and therefore tend to be isolated examples; with a simple toolkit this animated form reaches greater accessibility. Your organization knows the story. Shadow puppets offer a simple entertaining form to relate that narrative to your constituents.

Distribution Method: This toolkit could be distributed to local healthcare activists, grass root NGOs, school teachers to make their

Designer Seema Krishnakumar

own local stories to enact them.

Adaptability: Traditionally shadow puppetry has been popular in China, India, Indonesia, Turkey etc. But the form has been universally accepted as an entertainment medium that cut across all age groups. Adapting shadow puppetry to tell stories of social change in native language with music and folk tales is easy and need only locally available materials and resources.

Links/references: People’s Universal Popular Puppetry Educational Theatre (PUPPET) : http://www.boloji.com/wfs5/wfs626.htm


Here is the story of Leela from an interior village in India, who is pregnant with her third baby. She delivered her first two children at home, but with the third baby, she’s already feeling tired! She is worried about her own health and whether it would affect her baby.


Solution #1: Puppetry in Rural India


She shared her concern with husband, but he thinks she would manage like earlier times and ask her to seek advise from the village nanny, but Leela is skeptical after her second delivery which almost took her life.


Her mother - in - law hopes she would deliver a third baby boy, while Leela is happy even if its a girl. Leela’s friend advise her to meet the new doctor at the primary health care center and cautions she shouldn’t burden herself with all the household chores.


Leela visit the primary health care center for the check up. Doctor madam appreciate her timely visit and cautions on her poor health and prescribes the right supplements, if not could have affected both the baby and mother. Leela is now confident that she and her baby are in safe hands.

Three important messages of the story 1. Health of the future genera­ tion starts with the health of the  mother. 2. Health care for women and  children as a fundamental human  right.  3. About 80% of maternal deaths could be prevented through basic  maternal and health services.


Strategy #2: Aggregate & Distribute A Shoebox Designed for Women of Childbearing Age

Agency:

Grassroot NGOs, Govt Health Activists

Target Audience:

Women in Rural Areas of Developing Countries

Desired Outcome:

Provide Aid and Information to Women During Pregnancy

Cost:

Small

Description: This strategy creates a simple container by which existing information and products related to pregnancy, child birth and family planning can be effectively distributed to women and their families. While the government and NGO’s may provide literature, supplements and condoms, there is not an engaging way to aggregate and distribute these products. Often in rural areas where there is the greatest need, people are unable to read the literature, unaware of the existence of these products, or are unable to afford them. Similar to Operation Shoebox given to soldiers in Iraq, we attempted to create a toolkit for mothers to support their family planning efforts, have a healthy pregnancy and a safe childbirth. Shoeboxes can be donated by participants in urban areas. Each shoebox will then be rebranded with simple stickers that display symbols to convey their visual message, thereby avoiding problems with local dialects or illiteracy. Once the contents of the shoebox are consumed, users can keep the colorful boxes to contain their children’s keepsakes or house-

Designers Amrithi Devarajan, Sai Hingne

hold goods. The “Nine Months” campaign offers three different shoeboxes/kits for different stages of childbirth: 1) prenatal care, 2) postnatal care and 3) emergency labor care. Included in the prenatal kit will be vitamins, iron and/ or folic acid supplements, a calendar, a clock, literature about importance of nutrition, importance of an institutional birth and addresses of the nearest hospitals or healthcare center. The childbirth kit will have guidelines and literature on how to safely deliver a baby, clean sheets, a string, a blade for cutting and other items that are present in a delivery kit. The postnatal kit will have contraceptive items and literature about family planning. Thus a simple device—a cheerful container designed for women and their childbearing needs will encourage women to take better care of themselves and their babies every step of the way. Distribution Method: While the shoebox provides an attractive packaging of necessary goods, a local organization is crucial to the success of such a strategy. Partnering with organizations like ‘ASHA’ (Accredited Social Health Activist), Nine Months can directly interact and be distributed within the community. A print advertising campaign within the local areas will also promote women to take advantage of the shoebox giveaways.


NINE MONTHS kits are available for free at your closest health care center. This kit will provide aid and informatzzion during your pregnancy and will help you and your baby stay safe before, during, and after your delivery.

ev ery c hi l d begi ns the worl d agai n.

the worl d again .

ev ery c hi l d b the worl d agai n .

ev ery c hi l d begi ns

A Maternal Health Initiative in Collaboration With the UN Advertising Campaign Example

Solution #2: Shoeboxes as Pre and Postnatal Care Kits

NINE MONTHS


Solution #2: Shoeboxes as Pre and Postnatal Care Kits

3 Pregnancy Related Kits: Blue - Prenatal Kit Red - Childbirth Kit Green - Postnatal Kit


Prenatal Kit Contents: Folic Acid Supplements, Iron Supplements, Prenatal Vitamins, Thermometer, and Infosheet with basic instructions

Prenatal Infosheet: Close up of basic instructions and Addresses of nearby hospitals are included


Spray Painted Kits: A collection of attractive spray painted boxes

Childbirth Kit: Contents of a disposable delivery kit are included


Strategy #3: Make Connections A Relevancy Campaign Agency:

Maternal Health organizations

Target Audience:

Policymakers, NGOs associated with other MDGs

Desired Outcome:

Global partnership, awareness of interconnections

Cost:

Moderate

Description: This campaign, which illustrates the connections between MDG#5, Maternal Health, and seven other UN Millennium Development Goals, has two potential outcomes: 1. It generates greater awareness to stakeholders invested in other global challenges; 2. It makes evident the cost benefit of addressing MDG #5. Maternal death isn’t just about mothers, or women. Instead, it is part of a repeating cycle of oppression, poverty, ignorance and disease. In other words, it is the result—and also the cause—of so many of the biggest challenges facing developing countries today: gender inequality, hunger, AIDS, lack of universal education, and poor healthcare. While these issues are being targeted by the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, many of the stakeholders involved may not be aware of the connections, or the potential impact of teaming up. A means of exposing the relevance, sharing information, and working together to raise funds and recruit volunteers may be emphasized, which is where our booklet comes into play. Each accordion-fold book contains a narrative connecting maternal health to each of the other MDGs, with

Designers Carrie Madigan and Kelsey Welsch

real-life stories and data to support each statement linking one goal to another. The accordion style allows the narrative to literally unfold, and the reader is prompted to flip it over to view the positive outcome of the story, allowing her to see the change than can be made possible. A detachable call to action card asks the reader to connect with another organization by filling out her information and giving it to them so they can be in touch in the future.

Distribution Method: The accordion booklets could be distributed individually, or as a set, at conferences and fundraising events where multiple NGOs, policy makers, and donors would be coming together on specific issues surrounding global health. They could be printed quickly and somewhat inexpensively, so that they could be adapted as needed. They might also work as part of a mailing initiative, poster campaign, or short motion piece (using the narrative aspect).

Adaptability: These kinds of booklets could be adapted by any organization that wishes to demonstrate the many facets of their issue by making connections and demonstrating relevance. It can be especially useful to show the cost impact analysis by revealing the connections with those topics that have received more attention and funding.


Above: the full set of accordion booklets showing seven of the Millenium Development Goal icons and colors. At right and on the following page: close-up views of the maternal health and poverty booklet, which connects these two MDGs by depicting two related narratives, one negative and one positive. A detachable call-to-action card asks the reader to flip the book over and see how the negative story can be altered by making the connection between maternal health and poverty, and therefore between organizations working to resolve both. The detachable card then allows the reader to exchange her information with people from other organizations.


Solution #3: A Relevancy Campaign


Maternal Health

Maternal Health

Maternal Health

Maternal Health

Maternal Health

Maternal Health

Maternal Health

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The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

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The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

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The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

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The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

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Despite complications, a woman survives childbirth.

She continues to build a small business with microfinancing.

Her husband stops abusing her.

Her family is well-nourished and she can afford contraceptives.

She invests her money in her kids’ education.

As business thrives, she is able to hire more women.

Saima Junaid, a Pakistani woman, was in labor when she began hemorrhaging. The midwife she was able to hire was aware of the complications and took her to a nearby health clinic, where nurses and trained health officials were able to save her, using blood transfusions. She delivered a healthy baby girl.

While pregnant, Saima was able to get a $65 loan from the Kashf Foundation to start an embroidery business. As business grew, she reinvested her money to buy more supplies, while paying off the loan. Although it was the first time she had ever handled money, Saima proved to be a savvy entrepreneur.

Saima also invested in her girls’ education, giving them opportunities that she never had. Keeping girls in school, especially through secondary school, has a strong correlation with delaying marriage, preventing adolescent pregnancy, and making young women less susceptible to sex trafficking.

Saima was so successful at her embroidery business that she was able to expand and hire women from her village to help. This improved their livelihood, and the village economy grew as a result. The schools had better enrollment and funding, and public works projects, like improving the local health clinic, were made possible.

Before she received the microloan, Saima’s husband didn’t respect her and often abused her, especially because she had only given birth to girls. He drank most of his paycheck and had accrued a large amount of debt. Once Saima began to earn money and helped pay off his debts, however, her husband saw her more as an equal and stopped beating her.

Research has shown that women are less likely to squander their earnings on unnecessary luxuries, and more likely to invest it in their family and back into their businesses. Saima used a large portion of her earnings to buy nutritious foods, as well as important healthcare, such as contraceptives, to prevent disease and unwanted pregnancies.

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A woman in a brothel survives childbirth.

After several failed attempts, she escapes the brothel.

She is reunited with her daughter.

She begins a new life with her husband and children.

Her daughter starts going to school.

With the help of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, and her new husband, Manooj, Meena was able to get the police to raid the brothel in Bahir and rescue her daughter, who had already been initiated into prostitution. They were just in time—Naina had been heavily drugged with morphine and severely beaten.

Before rescuing her daughter, Meena met a man in Forbesgunge who was not deterred by her past. Unlke most men, who view prostitutes as little more than garbage, Manooj fell in love with Meena and asked her to marry him. They had two children, both girls.

After being reunited with her mother, Naina went to live with Meena in Forbesgunge and started school. Eventually, Naina was able to go to a boarding school, which had been started by Apne Aap Women Worldwide and American supporters, and now hopes to become a teacher and advocate for disadvantaged children.

She works as a community organizer to prevent sex slavery.

While working as a prostitute in Bahir, India, Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

After several attempts at running away, Meena finally escaped the brothel and began living in Forbesgunge, a city located several hours north of Bihar. While there, she sought the help of a newly founded organization called Apne Aap Women Worldwide, a group that fights sex slavery in India, to get her daughter back from the brothel.

Meena now works as a community organizer in Forgesgunge, trying to discourage parents from prostituting their daughters and urging them to educate their sons and daughters alike. She is seen as pushy and unfeminine by many, but it’s a small price to pay for the strides she has made.

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The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The narrative would go here.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

The supporting text for the narrative will go here: For example: Meena Hasina gave birth to a baby girl, Naina. She had no access to medical care, but was fortunate enough to give birth without complications. Her misfortune was that her child was no longer hers. Once born, Naina became the property of the brothel, and only Meena could fight for her freedom.

HIV and AIDS

Global Partnership

Universal Education

Environmental Sustainability

Eradicating Poverty

Gender Equality

Infant Mortality

MAKE A CONNECTION. MAKE A CHANGE. By combining the forces fighting these obstacles to development, we can be more effective at achieving all of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Maternal Health, MDG #5, is the least resolved of the MDGs, but it affects them all.

Above: a poster using all the positive narratives connecting maternal health to each of the other MDGs, as they appear on the booklets, with the call-to-action at the bottom.


Solution #4 Illustrate the Possibilities: Microfinance in Motion Agency:

Peter Jacobson

Target Audience:

NGOs/General Audience

Desired Outcome:

Awareness and Support

Cost:

Small to Medium

Adaptibility:

Moderate

Description: Motion graphics design presents an exciting new form for message delivery and fund-raising. Humans are visual by nature and using visual language combined with text and movement and music to heighten a message’s depth is a great way to present information to an audience in an appealing and memorable way. Inexpensive cut paper animation, or even pure text animation, illustrates case studies and personal stories in a strong way. Change happens when people’s lives and situations are communicated and comprehended. Generate that empathy. Motion graphics can be uploaded to internet or computers easily to engage viewers in fund-raising, to create enthusiasm for a project or to visually explicate your mission or a story that needs to be told.

A note regarding adaptability: Many other similar stories can be told with motion graphics. Main considerations are computer and internet accessibility issues. In terms of the subject matter illustrated here, as the Grameen Bank points out, microfinance is not a tool, it is a set of tools. And of course this set of tools, then, will naturally vary given locations/

Designer Peter Jacobson

countries and other resource variables.

Links/references: Half the Sky book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn halftheskymovement.org Microfinance resources: Ashoka ashoka.org CARE care.org Grameen Bank grameen-info.org Womens World Banking womensworldbanking.org


Stills from ‘Goretti’s Story’ (video, 2:10) Peter Jacobson


Strategy #5: Turning Joy Into Action: Design Partnerships to Create Change Agency:

Grassroots-large NGOs

Target Audience:

Designers, NGOs, public

Desired Outcome:

Fundraising, awareness

Cost:

Small-medium

Description: The question is simple, where does your joy meet the world’s greatest need? While attending the UN Youth Pre-Conference in New York City, I was profoundly struck by this simple quote. I spent an entire day learning about the work of countless NGOs, public health professionals, and activists, yet I felt somewhere on the outside. I do not work in public health, I am not a doctor, I have never even been to Africa, but I still feel connected to the issue of Maternal Health. As a designer, how can I use my skills and interests to create solutions to this problem? Essentially, where can my joy meet the world’s greatest need? As designers, our mission is to communicate messages quickly and effectively. Many designers are interested in changing the world around them. NGOs have amazing content (pictures, stories, literature, etc) that can be used to reach a greater audience. By partnering with artists and designers, NGOs can take this content to new audiences, and new arenas. The designer would then be effecting the world around them through their skills and interests, while NGOs get their projects seen by the public. The concept of turning one’s joy into action has countless applications. In this example, artists create a gallery show responding to the issue of Maternal Health. This body of work fills a gallery and each print is sold to raise money and awareness for the NGO. The proceeds will be used for conferences, campaigns, or NGO expenses.

Distribution Method: Flyers, posters, and websites could be used to advertise a call to action and gallery show. Prints from the

Designer Daniel Wiggins

show can later be turned into postcards sold on the NGO’s website, and appear on their blog.

Adaptability: This concept has unlimited solutions and applications. Different projects can be tailored to different audiences. Photography, poetry, painting, printmaking, etc are all mediums that can be used as tools to create projects. By creating unique partnerships in the design community, the possibilities are endless.

Links/references: The Wooster Collective: http://www.woostercollective.com, What moves you?: http://whatmovesyou.net

Conact: Daniel Wiggins (danielcwiggins@gmail.com, dcwdesign.com)


This page: Prototype of street art campaign used to advertise gallery opening and create dialogue within a chosen community.


Mothe & Sister & Aunts & Frien

Top: Artist work from gallery show. Designer partnered with NGO to create and donate work for exhibition.

Bottom: Gallery opening of work around selected topic. Pieces then sold to raise funds for NGO.

Solution #5: Turning Joy into Action


Strategy #6: Hire a Designer A Charrette as a Method of Engagement Agency:

Grassroots NGO

Target Audience:

NGO’s

Desired Outcome:

Engage multiple audiences, raise awareness and funds

Cost:

Modest

Description: Unlike in the for-profit world, the end-users or beneficiaries of a mission driven enterprise are usually not the ones who pay for it. Not-for-profit organizations often have to appeal to outside funders - government agencies, foundations and even individual donors to provide the money necessary to complete their work. Therefore, NGO’s have more than one audience to communicate with. They need to martial political and financial support from outside powers while also raising awareness and encouraging action within local constituencies. Unfortunately, though the importance of a cause is obvious to those who dedicate themselves to it, that passion and clarity of purpose is often missing from communication pieces and outreach efforts. The gravity of the endeavor is not always inherent to the solicited and many not-for-profits and NGO’s struggle with disengaged audiences. This is where a designer can be of help, because designers are communicators. Designers can capture the dynamism of an organization, the significance of a cause or the immediacy of an issue and then impart it to the disparate groups noted above. But to do this, they must be invited in to the process at the beginning. Taking this last step offers the added opportunity to capitalize on the abilities of designers as creative problem solvers. It is in that spirit that the following framework for raising awareness and engaging multiple audiences is outlined. While many NGO’s already organize local community members around specific issues in an effort to disseminate information and determine appropriate community level interventions, bringing a designer in to run a charrette (community design meeting) can be an exciting and thought-provoking exercise. It can establish a more personal connection between the participants and the issue, spread awareness through new community ambassadors, help to create a solution to the issue, and may yield a physical documentation of the process and/or solution that can be used in advocacy and fundraising. The subsequent pages show an example case, a fictional NGO working

Designer Matt Scheer

with a designer to run a charrette in which local stakeholders come up with ways to reflect the problem of maternal mortality in their community.

Adaptability: The charrette is a highly adaptable method of community engagement and can be used for nearly any issue.

Contact: Matt Scheer, matthewscheer@yahoo.com


A fictional NGO organized local stakeholders for a charrette at which they came up with ideas for a public accounting of the issue of maternal mortality within their community. Here we see one group of community members sketching out and considering their plan.


At this charette it was determined that the community would create a memorial wall with a painted stamp commemorating local women who have died due to complications from childbirth. The thought was that the community could take ownership of the problem by creating a visual record of the individual deaths. Here we see drawings from the charrette, illustrating the community’s idea. In this case the community chose to use a traditional depiction of a mother and child, a motif found in sculptural artworks of the local culture, (example pictured at the left).


Here we see a simplified version of the mother/ child stamp created by the designer that led the charrette, as well as its application on the wall of a local church. Not only did this project help raise awareness of the issue amongst those who participated, but now as public art, it continues to help raise awareness throughout the whole community.


The NGO has raised awareness within the community but it also must raise money and support outside the community. To do this it produces advocacy pieces that include the community design solution determined through the charrette. Pictured below, is an example front page for such a piece. Its aim is to remind policy makers that the numbers they consider are attached to real lives in real places around the world.

Memorial Wall honoring local dead Fictional Town, Fictional Country

1 each minute How can we measure maternal mortality? 550,000 each year


Charrette Process Step 1

Publicize the Charrette amongst  local stakeholders, encouraging  them to attend the meeting at which  they will learn about, discuss and  then create design solutions for an  issue relevant to their community.

Step 2

Begin the charrette with a discussion about the chosen community  issue, explain community design  project and break into small groups  to put ideas on paper. 

Step 3

Come back together, share group  ideas and vote on the one to be  implemented. 

Step 4

Once the design has refined the  design, bring the community together  again to create the final product. 

Design Strategies for NGO's  
Design Strategies for NGO's  

Design strategies created by Pratt students for the 63rd annual United Nations DPI/NGO exhibit in Melbourne, Australia. Class entitled Desig...

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