The Discover phase is the very first step in Core’s human-centered design process.
We build on existing knowledge, collate from a range of sources and interview subject matter experts both before and during in-country activities. This entails allotting time upfront to evaluate the issue within context. To understand the sexual and reproductive health scenarios in our focus countries we undertake substantive landscape analyses, validating our output with experts and partners.
We use a range of participatory methods to gain new knowledge and different perspectives on the sexual and reproductive health problems that exist in our target communities. We craft custom strategies for interviews and group discussions with local communities, develop design tools for productive interactions with women around their SRH journeys, and open engagement with in-country partners to immerse in the field.
The tools we co-design to aid engagement with women are informed by background research and expert perspectives. Team members are equipped to conduct fieldwork ethically and are mindful of contextual sensitivities. Importantly, these efforts are geared to provide an enabling environment for women to share their experiences and for the teams to gain credible first-hand insights into the issue.
A snapshot of information streams for Core’s design research approach:
- Nine geography BMGF segmentation of women
- Desk research and existing literature review
- Country data and national strategy review
- BMGF country goals and grantee priorities
- Voices and experiences of women participating in Core
♦ Core’s Discover phase process flow
Core’s design research for the Discover phase follows a four-step approach:
1. DESK RESEARCH
We establish a baseline to understand Life Course theory:
- Adapt Life Course theory to the lives of women and women’s sexual and reproductive health
- Develop an approach to apply Life Course to Core’s work
We extensively map national health ecosystems and collect existing data for each Core country:
- Build a data-based foundation of each country and selected region
- Map national and regional policies, programmes and priorities
- Identify coordination pathways with global and in-country partners
2. DESIGN RESEARCH (Discover I)
To learn first-hand about how women themselves define and experience health and well-being across Core countries, we ask several questions:
- How do women understand their health and wellbeing?
- What do women mean by “being healthy”? How has this changed over time?
- How do women prioritise their own health, as well as the health of family members?
Diving deeper in women’s sexual and reproductive health journeys we also ask:
- What health experiences have women had? How did they perceive and evaluate them?
- What are women’s experiences of and perspectives on different SRH services or information they are supposed to receive, for example regarding family planning or ANC?
- How do women make health-related decisions? What factors do they consider?
- Who influences women’s decision making?
- How have women been impacted by health-related choices?
We then narrow our focus to 3-5 transitions and begin intergenerational interviews in each country:
- Transitions are identified through dialogue and by examining national priorities, BMGF strategy and health data
- Intergenerational groups of women are asked to reflect on their and their families’ health experiences, changing experiences between generations and exploring aspirations for their children’s health and wellbeing across generations
3. SYNTHESIS AND RE-FOCUS
We focus desk research to the key transitions identified for each country or region. The narrowed focus seeks to answer several questions:
- What past solutions and interventions related to identified transitions have been implemented and what are their results?
- Who are the main implementing organisations working on these transitions?
- What is the social and cultural context surrounding the selected transitions?
- What ethical implications do the social and cultural contexts surrounding these transitions have on field research?
4. DESIGN RESEARCH (Discover II)
Researchers go back into the field with a more specific focus for each country to:
- Recruit participants based on the segmentation review
- Specifically explore selected sexual and reproductive health transitions with custom tools
These following are the design research methods used in Core:
1. Ethnographic Interviews
These tend to last 3-4 hours and are divided between speaking to different female generations (at least two) within the same family. The conversations are intimate discussions and happen independent of each other, often organically or cued by us through specifically designed dialogue tools.
2. Intergenerational Workshops
These last about 2 hours and involve 6-8 participants. We use this platform to explore shared socio-cultural, psychological and ecological definitions, to build a collective view of the life course and intergenerational personas for key moments on the life course.
3. Key Informant Interviews
We attempt at least two of the following in every location –local doctor/ health practitioner, community health volunteers, community health workers, country experts (in the cities), experts working on gender & health
4. Observation of Spaces and Services
We observe local facilities and local clinics for insights into spaces, services and systems.
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