Tag Archive | NGO

Developing a Non-Governmental Organization’s operations in Zimbabwe through co-creation

Zimbabwe Aids Orphan Society (Zimbabwe Aids-Orvot ry.), founded nearly 20 years ago, is a Finnish non-profit association founded by Seppo Ainamo and Oili Wuolle. The association raises funds for welfare and supports education for orphans in the poor neighbourhood of Dzivarasekwa in Harare, Zimbabwe. 

Currently, roughly 500 members support almost 400 orphans (out of which 63% are girls) by financing a safe environment and daily meals at a private activity center, The Dzikwa Centre. 

The economic situation in Zimbabwe has for a long time been unstable due to political and economic issues and it’s estimated, that around 7 million is in need of humanitarian aid. Almost 50% of the population is also living below the national poverty line (< $3.20/day). 

Zimbabwe Aids Orphan Society support orphans living in poverty. (Photo: Djupsjö, Thomas)

In early October, a workshop was arranged at Töölö Library, Helsinki, where participants were gathered to solve key issues and challenges in the association’s operations through innovation principles. The goal was also to develop growth models and find new ways of acquiring sponsors for orphans. 

The diverse group of approximately 20 participants, in ages ~20 to ~80, were divided in three groups for an innovation exercise. All groups had a designated facilitator that took notes in brief 15-minute discussions, that focused on the following themes:  

  1. Acquiring sponsors and financing 
  2. Improving volunteering work Finland 
  3. Collaboration with schools and student communities 
The workshop was divided in three main areas for discussion. (Photo: Djupsjö, Thomas)

After lively, intensive and thoughtful discussions, the facilitators documented valuable points and summarized main findings from all groups. These were then shared with participants at the event, evoking discussion.

The association management gladly stated, that they were positively surprised to find so many practical areas to take action upon. In other words, the workshop was quite successful. 

To summarize this event, I honestly can verify that co-working and ideating for an NGO is very rewarding. Working in diverse multidisciplinary groups truly open up for good discussion and reflection. Although there always aren’t straight answers and solutions, the process of ideating certainly evokes new inspiring ideas. 

I’d be glad to participate in similar events in the future. 

Written by Thomas Djupsjö
MBA Student at Laurea, University of Applied Sciences

Resources  
Zimbabwe Aids Orphan Society, Who we are 
October 5th, 2020 
https://zimorvot.org/en/who-we-are/

Wikipedia, List of countries by percentage of population living in poverty, 
October 5th, 2020 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_percentage_of_population_living_in_poverty 

Zimbabwe Aids-Orvot ry, Workshop and lecture materials
October 4th, 2020

Design Sprint as Tool for Non-profits

By Salla Kuuluvainen

Last week I attended an event by Järjestöjen palvelumuotoilijat – Service Designers in Non-profit sector, an informal network by people who work in the NGO sector in Finland and are interested in service design. The event was organized by Kukunori, and organization that works with mental health and well-being.

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Saara Jäämies illustrating her experiences with sprints.

The theme of the evening was Design Sprint and how that process can be used in the non-profit sector. Design Sprint process originates from Google, where it was developed by Jake Knapp, who now has his own agency GV. The GV site has great resources and videos regarding Design Sprints, and Jake Knapp’s book Sprint – Solve Problems and Test New Ideas in Just 5 Days gives a thorough explanation of the sprint process.

 

What Is a sprint?

I sprint, as I just learned in the event is a 5 day design process model that allows a team or company create and test new ideas fast, and within the 5 days arrive at a fairly well-developed concept. The GV website defines sprint as a ”five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers.”

The sprint process in divided into days, which all have a specific outcome, e.g on Monday you start with defining a goal, learn more about the challenge and set targets, on a Tuesday you start to ideate solutions and recruit customers for testing, and so forth.

How Can You Use Sprint in Non-profit Organizations?

In the event we heard from three different kind of experiences with sprint: Milla Mäkinen told about their experiences in creating an inclusive strategy process for Kukunori, Saara Jäämies (also a service design student at Laurea!) told about experiences with using sprint in digital service design, and Nora Elstelä, Antti Haverinen and Hanna Jaakola told about their experiences with sprint process when starting a professional collaboration together.

Some takeaways from their experiences:

  • The design sprint process as itself is not very inclusive, since the customers are only included in process in the very end. For example Kukunori took their different stakeholders as full co-creators from the start of their process in order to have a really inclusive strategy. Most non-profits would like to co-design with their stakeholders and ”customers”, so it is a good idea to modify the sprint process in this regard.
  • When co-designing with a non-hierarchical collective, it’s good to take  into account the Decider role in sprint process, who usually is someone in the company leadership, and does not necessarily participate in the whole sprint. Who makes final decisions in the process?
  • The sprint in its original form is done in consecutive days, which can be difficult to organize in non-profit environments. Elstelä, Haverinen and Jaakola had experimented with a sprint which had some time days between the phases. They noticed that in this case it was important to use time in the beginning of each new sprint day to remember what happened the previous time, and use the same visualizations to help the memory.
  • Saara Jäämies remarked that the tools and methods in sprint process are especially good since they allow people to work both independently and in a group, thus allowing for different kinds of personalities to work together productively.

As a final takeaway I really loved the Kukunori space and it’s interior decoration with all kinds of quirky fun ways to visualize their strategy process and different team dynamics – I was a little surprised to find such a cool innovation space in the rather bleak suburb of Malmi in Helsinki. Good job for the interior, Milla Mäkinen!