THE CORE PROJECT

Core is a pioneering three-year project (2018–2020) aiming to better understand, equip and empower women to lead healthier sexual and reproductive lives. Moving beyond vertically-driven thinking about care-provision, Core charts a way forward to better respond to dynamic sexual and reproductive health care-seeking behaviours among women in India, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. It combines human-centered design and interdisciplinary approaches to co-create new solutions for women’s sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing. The project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by M4ID, in close collaboration with in-country and global partners.

Core has three main objectives:

What we do

Core builds on existing evidence and research relating to women’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Human-centered design and interdisciplinary practice enable it to draw fresh insights from women and their communities as well as from experts and practitioners to fill information and service innovation gaps in this field. The life course approach provides a framework focused on transition points, i.e., sensitive moments of change or disruption in biological, psychological or social circumstances during women’s lifetimes, presenting us with a lens to understand individual trajectories and examine how past experiences may influence future health outcomes.

Core aims to arrive at the following outcomes:

TEAM

Core’s interdisciplinary team draws on expertise in international development, social science and public health as well as creative communications, human-centered design and product innovation. The group is committed to positively impact the health journeys of underserved and vulnerable women.

Mari Tikkanen
Senior Advisor, Co-CEO
Mari is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of M4ID. In this role, Mari represents M4ID globally in its relationships with clients, vulnerable communities as well as M4ID’s large networks of partners and stakeholders. She initiates and develops new ways of delivering social impact, spearheads measurement
initiatives, and leads projects funded from M4ID’s social mission fund. Mari also plays a critical role in the governance of M4ID as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to co-founding M4ID in 2008 and leading the organisation for a decade, Mari worked for 15 years on women’s and children’s health and rights, including for WHO South East Asia Region, UNFPA, IPPF, AMREF and Aurat Foundation in Pakistan. Mari holds an MSc. in Population and Development from the London School of Economics and a Sociology degree from Helsinki University, and is a qualified social worker. Mari is a requested speaker at international events and serves on a number of advisory boards, including on the Senior Advisory Group of Saving Newborn Lives and Design for Health.
Mick Scheinin
Creative Strategist
As the Creative Strategist, Mick's job is to synthesise research into creative strategies while being heavily involved in the conceptual thinking. Mick also facilitates workshops, works with local partners in developing creative concepts and interacts with local and global partners. Before joining M4ID, Mick had a dual role as both Senior creative and partner at Hasan & Partners and Creative director of Hasan & Communications. Mick has won various international and domestic advertising and communications awards. Before that, Mick got a law degree from Helsinki University and worked for, among others, the National Research Institute of Legal Policy, European Parliament in Luxembourg and the Institute of Economic Law. He has also written a best-selling cookbook and worked as a restaurant critic.
Sandra Viña
Senior Service Designer
Sandra Viña serves as M4ID’s Senior Service Designer. Sandra is a service and product designer as well as design researcher, and she applies her skills to, among others, the Newborn Innovation Project, Core and Rise. Sandra brings with her a breadth of skills. In her PhD and work assignments, she has, among others, focused particularly on developing and experimenting with design research and participatory design methodologies, as well as experience prototyping. Sandra has presented and published designs and design research in Finland and within international design research communities. Her works have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Europe, and in Japan, where she earned several prizes and special mentions. She has also planned and facilitated design workshops for the private and public sectors. Sandra’s expertise is rooted in the design process, starting from user and context research, and applying participatory design approaches to product and service design concepts. She holds a Master of Arts degree in industrial design and she has completed studies in fine arts in Finland and abroad. She is also a PhD candidate at Aalto University/ARTS, where she has worked on several design projects, research, and design education.
Rashmi Jagdish
Programme Manager
Rashmi brings to the Core team project management and partnerships-building expertise in international development, most recently in leading digital healthcare innovation projects in Southern and Eastern Africa. Her previous experience includes working in development and communications for a medical charity, programme management for a financial capacity-building social enterprise and research for academic institutions across India, Hong Kong, the UK and South Africa. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BSc in Psychology from University College London.
Veera Tuomala
Development Specialist
As Development Specialist, Veera works on research and landscape analyses for the Core and Next T projects. To M4ID she brings experience from several international organisations within the development and security sector around Europe, as well as field work experience in Liberia. Veera holds a BA in International Media and Communications from the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Security Studies from University College London. She is passionate about women's rights and gender equality in development.
Abhyudai Dhawan
Communication Specialist
Abhyudai Dhawan is a Communications Specialist with multifarious experience as a development and communications professional. He has worked in the domains of ecology, education, public health, sustainability, urbanisation, and youth development. Prior to joining our team, he worked as a Communications Officer with the United Nations Development Programme in India, where he managed communications for projects on gender equality and economic empowerment. Abhyudai views his interdisciplinary background, diverse experiences, and professional expertise as means to better champion the human story. Abhyudai holds a Master of Arts in Social Science from the University of Freiburg, Germany and the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Argentina. He received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Delhi University.
Alba Bonachela
Graphic Designer
Alba is a Graphic Designer at M4ID and is passionate about video and motion graphics. She wants to bring static visuals to life, and for this reason moving images are a source of her inspiration. She has her Bachelor's degree from the ESDA Zaragoza, Spain and the ESAD Matosinhos, Portugal. Previously Alba has worked in Spain and in Finland in the field of post production.
Mikaela Grotenfelt
Medical and Public Health Advisor
Dr Mikaela Grotenfelt-Enegren is a global public health expert with a broad range of experience in the areas of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health as well as nutrition. She holds a Specialist Degree in Public Health Medicine from the University of Helsinki and her work experience encompasses WHO, NGO's, the governmental sector, vaccine research as well as clinical pediatrics and general practice, including ANC services. In her role as a M4ID’s Medical and Public Health Advisor she provides technical guidance throughout the different stages of the projects, bringing her expertise into M4ID’s multidisciplinary approach and into our common strive for optimized and sustainable solutions.
Jen Snell
Programme Coordinator
As the Programme Coordinator, Jen leads the programmatic, operational, and financial management of multiple M4ID initiatives including the CORE, HIV and Lab.our Ward projects. She also offers strategic expertise in global public health and development for the organisation. Prior to joining the M4ID team, Jen gained 18 years of experience managing both development and humanitarian programmes throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Russia, and the US. This includes 8 years leading health and human rights programs – with a focus on HIV and maternal and child health – in rural Kenya. Most recently, Jen spent two years in Jordan managing emergency programs for communities in Syria. She received a Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2000.
Fang-yi Lee
Service Designer
Fang-yi is a Service Designer with a focus on human-centred design approaches and methodologies. At M4ID, Fang-yi supports the innovative service creation process, including through design research, concept development and rapid prototyping. In particular, Fang-yi is developing solutions addressing the issue of newborn health in low resource settings as well as HIV testing linked to care for adolescent girls. Prior to joining M4ID, Fang-yi worked for several years as product designer in Taiwan, from where she gained work experience and competencies in diverse design practices. Fang-yi holds a Master degree in Creative Sustainability from Aalto University and BA in Industrial Design from Tunghai University.
Amal Mohamed
Programme Manager
Based in Kenya, Amal Mohamed is M4ID's Programme Manager. In this role, Amal supports M4ID's interdisciplinary design and creative communication initiatives, campaigns and projects in Kenya and Tanzania. She has previously undertaken M4ID's Plan Right research on family planning in various counties in Kenya. She brings significant knowledge of the creative sector and has substantive socio-economic analytical skills from her extensive experience in the fields of law, creative investment and fund management. She holds an LLB from the University of Reading and is a qualified Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She is passionate about using innovative, holistic and interpersonal approaches to social change.
Shalini Subbiah
Evaluation and Programme Manager
Shalini is Evaluation and Programme Manager at M4ID. In this role, Shalini works with programme staff to support monitoring and evaluation of M4ID’s projects and generate learnings that strengthen policy and programming. Shalini has extensive experience in data analysis, quantitative and qualitative research and programme management. Prior to joining M4ID, she worked with the World Bank's Gender Innovation Lab in Nigeria where she contributed to impact evaluations aimed at generating evidence on how to close the gender gap in earnings, productivity and assets. She has also worked in Kenya, managing programmes and academic research focussed on maternal and newborn health. She holds a double Master's in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Shalini is interested in the application of data-driven decision-making to real world problems, specifically related to gender, maternal health and sexual and reproductive health.
Helena Vizcaino
Visual Creative
Helena is M4ID’s Visual Creative. Her work combines creative strategy, design and illustration, and she brings innovative means of visual communication to our global social impact projects. Before joining M4ID, Helena worked as an illustrator and designer in the field of marketing and communication, advertising and design. Helena holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from UPV Valencia, in Spain and Lahti University of Applied Sciences, in Finland.
Tito F. Williams II
Design Intern
Tito is a Design intern at M4ID. In his work, he employs human-centered design methods for projects in the field of sexual and reproductive health. He refers to himself as a social designer, using design methods to face challenges surrounding education, health, and poverty with in communities. He believes that people can create a world where one day every community, regardless of its industrial development stage should have a high standard of physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Building meaningful relationships and experiences within communities is what drives his passion for design. With a B.S. in Industrial Design from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, USA and a current M.A. candidate of Collaborative and Industrial Design at Aalto University in Espoo Finland, he holds a multidisciplinary design toolbox.
Jennifer Paavola
Director of Creative Communication
Jennifer heads the creative communications team and oversees creative design projects, strategy and concept planning, as well as the implementation of international campaigns and programs. She is a multi-faceted professional who combines backgrounds and experience gained across roles in communications, design and marketing. She recently worked for +1, where she was CMO and led design projects that combined social sciences, data science and creative problem solving. Previous roles have included heading international clients for a top 10 global communications agency, CEO of a creative agency in London and head of marketing for a US-based global technology company. She is a strong believer that the biggest problems in the world can only be solved by utilising social sciences to foster deeper understanding, unleashing creative problem solving to build new solutions and harnessing technology to inform and empower more people around the world.
Jarkko Kurronen
Senior Service Designer
Jarkko specialises in leveraging human-centred design for social and health services and leads the application of design in our projects. Jarkko is an experienced service designer, with a decade of experience in ethnographic research, strategic design, prototyping, and workshop facilitation, among others. Prior to joining M4ID, he served as a senior designer in a healthcare focused agency, and he also worked in public sector design. His work has ranged from large scale public sector digitalisation ventures, understanding and designing improved patient journeys, designing service development project that addressed social exclusion of low-income families, to health education for Kenyan school children through gamification. Additionally, Jarkko has previous work experience as a product designer and a graphic designer. Jarkko has a master’s degree in Industrial and Strategic Design from Aalto University, with a minor in Creative Sustainability. He also holds a BA in Industrial Design from Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences.
Priyam Sharda
Design Research Lead
As our Design Research Lead, Priyam supports M4ID’s mission-led work through her insights and inputs on local culture, communities and users. She holds an MSc in Social Anthropology from Oxford university, and comes with previous experience in applied ethnography and design research spanning rural and urban populations in various countries. At M4ID, Priyam will be applying a fused lens of social science frameworks and design methods to health and development projects, particularly in the space of maternal and child health. She believes strongly that framing the right context, and building continual empathy at every step of the design process, is the definitive way of designing an impactful solution.
Petra Sillanpää
Development Specialist
As a Development Specialist, Petra works on M4ID’s business development and supports the Creative Communications team in Plan Right and Core projects. She is passionate about women’s reproductive health, and the role that digitalisation can play in it - a topic she also researched in her Masters’ dissertation. Petra brings to M4ID her international mindset as well as her experience in NGO work and in education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in European Studies from King’s College London and a MSc in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Birkbeck College.
Laura Seppälä
Communication Specialist
As a Communications Specialist in the creative team, Laura manages communications strategies and their implementation at M4ID. She also leads the communication related project streams and deliverables as well as international partner coordination. Laura is an experienced and sure-footed all-round communications professional and anthropologist from her academic background. Her work in refugee programmes took her to the Middle East and South America. Later her passion for journalism, PR and communication led her to work for a pioneer English-language newspaper in Finland and then managing communications and fundraising at the peace mediation organisation CMI. Laura believes that innovative and creative communications combined with other multidisciplinary approaches has potential of making a difference and contribute to problem-solving in many sectors. She is keen on using her know-how and skills with globally important humanitarian endeavours.
Yuzhou Wang
Graphic Designer
Yuzhou is a Graphic Designer at M4ID. Previously he worked as a freelance graphic designer, and has lived and studied in China, Japan and Finland. With these experiences, he has an open mind towards different cultures and has formed a strong visual style that combines both Eastern aesthetics and Western design principles. At M4ID, he creates both visual narratives and information design strategies which he hopes to convey messages in a clear yet unique visual language. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Visual Communication Design and he is currently pursuing Master’s Degree in the same field at Aalto University.
Sushant Passi
Design Intern
Sushant Passi is an Industrial designer interning at M4ID. He works on developing design objects for Core. He has a keen interest in creating solutions for real world problems through a hands-on and experimental approach. Sushant completed his bachelor studies in product design in India and Italy and he is currently finishing his MA in Product and Spatial Design at Aalto University. He has previously worked as a product & experimental material designer in India.

PARTNERS

Core is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by M4ID, in close collaboration with local and international partners.

Human-centered design
Rose Matthews (Design Consultant)

Co-Creation Hub
Kenya
Okari Magati (Design Researcher)

Sostine Makunja (Research Consultant)
Evaluation
Nigeria
Charles Ikem (Service Designer)

Olubunmi Adedoyin Ojelade (SRH expert)

Co-Creation Hub
Tanzania
CSK Research Services

President's Office of Regional Administration and Local Governance (PORALG)

GLOBAL ADVISORY BOARD

The Global Advisory Board provides expertise and strategic direction to Core and consists of leading international thinkers and practitioners in the field of public health, medicine, social science, interdisciplinary design, and futures.

Shilpa Das
Senior Faculty, National Institute of Design, India
Dr. Shilpa Das is Senior Faculty, Interdisciplinary Design Studies and Head, PhD Programme at the National Institute of Design (NID) India. Her work experience spans 24 years in education, publishing, and volunteerism. She is on the Governing Council of the Mo School Project, Government of Odisha. Shilpa has been the Founding Co-Editor of two prominent publications brought out by the Research and Publications department of NID—The Trellis, a research based publication and a magazine called D/signed. She is the editor, author and creative visualiser of the book “50 Years of the National Institute of Design: 1961-2011” (2013); and co-editor of the book, “Indian Crafts in a Globalizing World” (2017).

She has been involved in outreach and consultancy projects, notably, a project on strategic behaviour change with respect to persons with disabilities for Handicap International and Department of Health and Family Welfare for the Government of Gujarat; Ananya, a book on Indian women for the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Sanchar Shakti, a book on information communication technology and women’s empowerment for the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.
Florence Temu
Country Director, Amref Health Africa, Tanzania
Dr Florence Temu is a Country Director for Amref Health Africa in Tanzania. Florence has worked for Amref Health Africa for over twelve years in different capacities in Tanzania and Ethiopia- as project manager, head of programmes, deputy country director in Tanzania and as country director for Ethiopia and now Tanzania. Before joining the organisation she worked as Head of cancer prevention services at Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Tanzania and also as a general medical practitioner and researcher under maternal and HIV research projects (MTCT) at Muhimbili National Hospital. Dr Temu holds a Degree in Medicine, Masters in Public Health, Diploma in Palliative Care, as well as a University certificate in Geriatric Health Care Management. Florence who formerly served as Vice Chairperson for Medical Women Association, is a member of Institute of Directors Tanzania, and has undergone several leadership courses including PEAK Fellowship by Population Fellows Programs of the University of Michigan, USA; and Women Leaders for the
World leadership programme under Global Women Leadership Network. Florence is a member of Board of
Directors for White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania, and recently appointed as member of Directors for Guaranty
Trust Bank in Tanzania.
Kate Ramsey
Senior Technical Adviser, Management Sciences for Health
Kate Ramsey is Senior Principal Technical Advisor for Maternal and Newborn Health at Management Sciences for Health (MSH). She has over 15 years’ experience in global health and her expertise is health systems approaches to improving maternal and newborn health. At MSH, she is technical support lead for USAID-funded integrated health projects in Malawi and DRC and group antenatal care initiatives. Previously at Columbia University’s Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD), she conducted health system and implementation research in Tanzania, including evaluating interventions to reduce disrespect and abuse in childbirth, a model for community health workers, and voucher programs and referral systems for maternal and newborn health. She also coordinated global technical assistance for Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care Assessments. She worked prior to that as UNFPA’s Global Technical Specialist for the Campaign to End Fistula, supporting design, implementation, and evaluation of programming and facilitating Campaign expansion from 12 to 45 countries in Africa and Asia.
Katherine Hay
Deputy Director, Gender Equality, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Zeina Afif
Senior Social Scientist, Poverty and Equity Global Practice, World Bank
Zeina Afif is a Senior Social Scientist, Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank. Zeina is currently working on applying behavioural insights to improve women’s access to finance and jobs, reduce youth unemployment, reduce gender based violence, and improve access to public services and programs. Zeina has also provided operational communication and behavioural insights support to World Bank projects and has worked in countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, and Yemen in the areas of taxes, social protection, social accountability, and citizen engagement. Zeina holds a MBA from George Washington University, and a M.Sc. in Behavioural Science from London School of Economics.
Sam Mulyanga
Director, Advance Family Planning, Jhpiego, Kenya
With a background in information systems and public health, Sam Mulyanga leads the Advance Family Planning (AFP) advocacy initiative in Kenya. Prior to joining Jhpiego, Sam worked with Pact Inc.-a Washington based nonprofit organisation as an Advocacy Adviser. He was primarily assigned to an MSH –led civil society organisations’ institutional strengthening project dubbed ‘FANIKISHA’ that operated within the USAID FORWARD initiative. Sam also worked with Family Care International (FCI) as a Senior Program Officer where he engaged in advocacy efforts in Kenya and globally. He has had a stint in the media besides working with several other development organisations to improve the lives of communities. In 1996, Sam was a global winner of the United Nations-led essay contest on promoting responsible reproductive health behaviour. He has published seven books in the area of sexuality, livelihood, and HIV and AIDS.
Ademola Olajide
Resident Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Dr. Ademola Olajide is UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund’s Representative for Kenya. Until this appointment in July 2017, Dr. Olajide served as the Chief, Non-Core Funds Management Unit in the Office of the Executive Director, UNFPA headquarters in New York since May 2015. At UNFPA, Dr. Ademola and his team worked in developing clear processes of allocation of non-core throughout the organisation. This included determining allocation limits for regions and countries to ensure better planning and coordination. Dr. Olajide served as the UNFPA Representative in Namibia in 2014 where he spearheaded efforts in population data and evidence, while supporting interventions that enhanced reproductive health and gender equality. Previously, he served as the Head of Division, Health, Nutrition and Population African Union Commission in Ethiopia from 2011 to 2013. Earlier in his career he was with UNICEF and UNFPA in Nigeria, where he held various positions such as Programme Adviser, Reproductive Health Adviser, National Programme Officer as well as HIV/AIDS Specialist. Before joining the UN he served as the Executive Director, Group of Medical Practitioners in Nigeria from 1995 to 2002. Dr. Olajide holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from University of Ibadan, Master’s degree in Business Administration from Federal University of Technology, Master of Public Health from the University of Ibadan and Masters of Arts in International Relations from Benue State University.
Dipanjan Sujit Roy
CEO, Wadhawani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare (WISH) Foundation
Jaspal S. Sandhu
Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Gobee Group
Jaspal is the Managing Partner of the Gobee Group, a social innovation consultancy that he co-founded 10 years ago. He is also the Professor of Practice in Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. At Gobee, he leads human-centered design efforts to drive innovation for the health of communities and populations. His Gobee teams are currently working to: improve data use with Ethiopia's national health system; develop innovative long-term strategies to prevent domestic and family violence in California's diverse communities; and improve national and regional decision-making processes in the worldwide immunisation community.

Since 2010, he has taught globally-unique, admissions-based, interdisciplinary courses on the innovation process at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2016, he has served as the faculty lead for the Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations at Berkeley, a program that merges digital health, human-centered design, and health equity. He advises technology startups that focus on food access, healthcare transformation, and global development. His writing on innovation has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MIT Innovations, Fast Company, and the American Journal of Public Health.

Prior to Gobee, he worked with the Mongolian Ministry of Health on technology and innovation in rural health systems as a Fulbright scholar, and for the Intel Corporation and the Nokia Research Center. He holds a PhD in design from the University of California, Berkeley, and master's and bachelor's degrees in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He speaks Punjabi, Spanish, and Mongolian.
Suzanne Fournier
Manager, Survive and Thrive, Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
Femi Longe
Director of Innovation & Co-Founder, Co-creation Hub
Mark Allen
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Merck for Mothers
Mark Allen has had over 20 years of professional experience in both the private and international development sector. Currently Merck for Mothers’ Director of Strategic Partnerships, Mark is responsible for managing strategic partners across the program portfolio including Merck for Mothers’ (MfM) newest partnership with the World Bank’s Global Financial Facility as the first private sector partner. Mark also has oversight of MfMs’ digital portfolio. Prior to Merck for Mothers, Mark was the Managing Director for Africa Programs with Malaria No More managing the organization’s investments across six countries. Mark started his professional career in international development at the Touch Foundation – a McKinsey & Co. founded organization focused on building human resource capacity in the health sector in Tanzania. Prior to the Touch Foundation, Mark lived in rural Kenya as a Peace Corps Volunteer focusing on micro-enterprise development with farmers which inspired his shift from an earlier career in management consulting. Mark holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University.