Design Clinic

Design Clinic teams in Lagos and Niger states are taking a learning-by-doing approach to human-centered design (HCD), applying design methods and tools to tackle specific healthcare challenges in their regions. With design mentoring support from Core Nigeria, state teams work through the four phases of HCD, from conducting participatory design research to co-creating, testing, and refining people-centred solution concepts.

Both teams are focused on sustaining primary healthcare service quality and utilisation during the pandemic. The Design Clinic results in two innovative solutions that have the potential to be rapidly implemented to improve service delivery. Design Clinic teams are composed of representatives from the state ministries of health and Primary Health Care Development Agency/Board as well as from Clinton Health Access Initiative Nigeria.

Learning by doing

Over 10 workshops, Niger and Lagos state teams focused on solving local, community-based COVID-19 challenges for primary healthcare service delivery, familiarising themselves with the HCD process. The process enabled participants to:

  • Gain intermediate-level competency and skills in HCD
  • Apply newly acquired skills to an existing challenge 
  • Emerge with key community-centric solutions


During the Design Clinics, participants learnt the benefits, processes, methods, and tools of HCD and how to implement the HCD-led approach to programme and intervention design. Throughout the process, Niger and Lagos state teams collectively achieved:

  • 10 actionable insights and 31 themes on PHC service delivery during the pandemic 
  • 7 of service concepts developed 
  • 2 pilot ready solution concept prototypes tested in the field
  • Improved collaboration between state officials and programmatic implementers

Lagos team’s solution concept leveraged the use of local influencers as mediators between primary healthcare centres and the community, using everyday spaces as embedded touchpoints to increase community awareness, access, and demand for primary healthcare services in settlements with low health service uptake.

Niger team’s solution concept tapped into volunteer networks to increase community presence at primary healthcare centres so that they can act as mediators between the community and the healthcare facility. This improves the influx of patients, caregivers, and clients at the facilities, enhancing community sensitisation and easing the burden of workload for the healthcare workers.