The YALI Regional Leadership Center for East Africa is seeking organisations – both public and private – which it can partner with in this year’s Design Challenge.
Design Challenge is part of an 8-week virtual learning program for participants whereby organizations that are involved in the three thematic areas – Business & Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership and Public Management – are brought on board to work with the participants to solve a challenge that the partner organizations need to overcome.
It derives its name – Design Challenge – from the fact that it needs to solve the challenge(s) that the organizations are experiencing in order to adequately meet the needs of their stakeholders, clients or customers. Participants are provided with the tools and knowledge on how to approach the Challenge during a two-day program on Design Thinking which is a Human Centered approach to innovation.
“Typically it involves a problem statement from an organization that allows the participants to go out into the field and interview potential clients/stakeholders and then come up with possible solutions… We are inviting you to come on board and provide our participants with a Design Challenge – an opportunity to apply the tools they learn to come up with a solution to some of the areas of difficulty or areas where you would like a fresh perspective and new insight not only from a Kenyan perspective but from a greater East, Central and Horn of Africa perspective,” stated Andrew Gakiria, Virtual Learning Manager and YALI, East Africa Regional Leadership Centre at Deloitte East Africa in an announcement.
The Design Thinking program collaboratively engages program participants using the following steps: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.
Empathize is the process where program participants work to fully understand the experience of the customer. This is done through observation, interaction and immersing themselves in the users product or service experience while Define is the process where findings from the empathy work are used to form a user point of view that will be addressed with the design.
To Ideate, participants come up with several ‘big ideas’ to solve the customers challenge then Prototype refers to transforming one big idea into physical form so that one can experience and interact with the proposed solution. The Test involves trying out the prototype with the intended customer segment(s) to learn what works and what doesn’t, and modifying the prototype based on feedback received until it is fully refined and ready to execute.
A step-by-step guide on the Design Challenge Process can be downloaded here.
The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) was launched by Barack Obama, former US President as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. The need to invest in grooming strong, results-oriented leaders comes out of the statistics: nearly 1 in 3 Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60% of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35.
The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, located at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya serves 14 countries in East and Central Africa: Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, DRC, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda,Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Center is overseen by Deloitte East Africa and is supported by a growing number of African and international partners.