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12/02/2013

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Natalia Adler

While this reads more like a paper than a blog (sorry for my tired eyes!), this is an interesting take on the layers of marketing (yes, marketing!) laid out by development practitioners to justify, from a scientific point of view, what is in reality just trial and error anyway.

At UNICEF in Nicaragua, we have introduced the element of human centered design for policy-making. By putting people in the center of this process, through carefully created archetypes based on ethnographic data, we have found that it's easier to identify low-cost, viable and context-specific interventions that respond to what people really want and care about (and what's possible given human and financial constraints).

It's not about which strategy is deemed more effective by randomized control trials or infamous best practice knowledge. It's about a comprehensive understanding about people's needs, aspirations and limitations. Once we start asking what Lidia, Pedro or Maria want and need - and truly understand who they are, where they live, etc - we can begin to conceive programs, policies and interventions that make sense for people.

For more information of this approach, please take a look at our report: http://en.unicef.org.ni/publicacion/58/promise-every-child-developing-regional-policy-chi/

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