Too often when Technologists and other innovators are building community solutions, they seldom involve the end user at the design stage of the solution. Many times technologists/innovators build solutions that are expected to receive enormous welcome into the communities by different stakeholders. But this is not always the case, many would-be-good solutions lie unused by the intended users because they do not understand them or they do not actually solve their challenge. We rarely see collaboration during the design and prototyping stage of innovation. Hive Colab has a network of over 500 technologists but quickly identified that creating a tech solution without user centered design would be a futile effort, we use of Human/User Centered Design( HCD/UCD) as an innovation hub when working with communities to support creation of meaningful and needed social solutions. The User centred design process in simple terms is having the end user in mind during the development phase of an innovation and engaging them for feedback before the final product is released. The process involves identifying the people who will use the product, what they will use it for and what conditions they will use it, building from a rough concept and refining it until a complete design is achieved, testing the solution with actual users and taking their feedback, making necessary changes until you have the right product for the right people. There are many other HCD/ UCD methods/processes that one can use to achieve the desired result.
One of the HCD/UCD workshops we have hosted resulted into the Yogera Initiative (yogera.ug). During the workshop, every stakeholder present acknowledged that public service delivery in Uganda keeps deteriorating every year and because of this the quality of life for many Ugandans also deteriorates.One of the possible solutions is creating avenues where citizens have a connection with the leaders in public offices, if we educated people on their rights, if corrupt public officers are called out and also if we celebrate or appreciate the public service leaders who are doing their jobs diligently and are incorruptible.
Yogera is a tech solution that uses social media, web technologies and messaging via shortcode to connect citizens to their leaders, allows shaming of corrupt public officials, celebrating public officers who are serving diligently, access to information on rights and more. where the local people do not have direct access to their leaders and often have nowhere to connection and engage with their leaders, this community co-created and co-owned solution engages leaders responsible for the different issues that are reported to the platform and also allows for offline engagements of leaders in communities. It is fantastic to see how the process of user centred design has enabled civil society, technologists based at Hive Colab and creatives come together to help tackle corruption.
The Yogera project was funded by the Indigo Trust and the British Council who are passionate about exploring how these different stakeholders can come together to solve social challenges in novel ways.
The founding partners of Yogera include Hive Colab, Parliament watch Uganda, Anti corruption Coalition Uganda, creatives, technologists at Hive Colab and MySociety.