Knowledge Exchanges between Egypt and Somalia on Design Thinking Techniques

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Social innovation camps provide a collaborative space for citizens, civil society, academia, technical experts, government officials, international development partners, and others to share their respective skills, experiences and expertise while working together on solving complex challenges. Most importantly, they provide a participatory platform for young men and women directly affected by problems to innovate and co-design solutions to these complex challenges. Therefore, it’s a win-win situation whereby the quality of living for local populations, especially vulnerable ones, is enhanced, and jobs are created for unemployed youth.

No Poverty , Zero Hunger , Good Health and Well-Being , Quality Education , Gender Equality , Clean Water and Sanitation , Affordable and Clean Energy , Decent Work and Economic Growth , Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure , Reduced Inequalities , Sustainable Cities and Communities , Responsible Consumption and Production , Climate Action , Life below Water , Life on Land , Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions , Partnerships for the Goals

Human development work too often de-emphasizes the potential of human creativity and usually designs programs and interventions by positioning institutions as the primary change agents, overlooking the human at the center of human development. There is a pressing need, and a momentous emerging opportunity, to create alternative paths to action and social change by enabling non-traditional stakeholders to help writing a new narrative for development.

Design Thinking, a creative problem-solving process is comprised of five stages: Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. The fundamental of Design Thinking is focusing on real human needs by engaging the end-users in the design process from start to end. It’s about understanding their key needs through empathizing with the users. Moreover, it’s a less-risky process as solutions are quickly prototyped at a low-cost, tested with users, validated and re-iterated based on the feedback received.

UNDP Egypt has experience in the facilitation of social innovation camps on various themes including: reporting on violence against women, improving the livelihoods of the fishing community and design for inclusive living. UNDP Egypt supported UNDP Somalia to launch the “Innovate for Somalia” initiative, where a series of camps focused on different development themes will be organized, and local capacity built in the facilitation of the camps.
A camp on improving the dairy industry has already been implemented.

In Egypt, over 10 solutions have been implemented and social businesses established, ranging from organic biopesticide to digital educational games and a mobile app for ramps in public spaces. In Somalia, 40 youth participated in the dairy industry camp, and 9 ideas developed to enhance the dairy industry, including hydroponics, packaged milk, organic cheese and solar-powered coolers and storage. These ideas are yet to be incubated.

Somalia , Egypt

UNDP Somalia , UNDP Egypt , Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt , Ministry of Planning in Somalia , Denmark , Microsoft in Egypt , Governorate Economic and Social Revival (GESR)

UNDP Somalia , UNDP Egypt

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