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Human-Centered Design for Refugee Leadership Development

We’re back from the IDEO.org human-centered design bootcamp in Kampala, Uganda and my notebook is full of notes, drawings, and sticky notes. It’s bursting with ideas, questions, prototypes, and plans for expanding our Little Ripples (LR) program to better support the leadership development of the refugee female teachers hired and trained to implement the LR program and make it their own.

Months and months ago, iACT responded to startup accelerator Amplify’s global challenge: how might we improve the education and learning opportunities for refugees around the world?

We put forth our

Little Ripples Ponds early childhood education in-home model as one of the solutions to improving the humanitarian response for early childhood education. Excitingly, it was selected as one of the top winners! As a result, we were given the opportunity to receive human-centered design training and tools as well as a grant made possible by UKAID to implement and test ideas for how we might empower refugee teachers to be leaders in education and to maintain the integrity of our program.

What is human-centered design? Human-centered design is what it sounds like. It’s a creative approach to problem-solving that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. My favo