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Design new products or services using the Human-Centered Design Toolkit

Update: IDEO and +Acumen are partnering to offer a free online course on Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation Last year I did a free design course from the University of Pennsylvania. The course wasn’t specifically for international development – most of the practical exercises were on designing a new type of ice-cream scoop. ... Read More »

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) – does it really work?

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is quickly taking the international development / global aid world by storm. According to the Institute of Development Studies it is now being used “in more than 50 countries, of which at least 15 have made CLTS official national policy”. Traditional sanitation programs usually distribute free or subsidised concrete ... Read More »

Simple, quick and easy – Tiny Tools for impact assessment

Download Tiny Tools Many international development / aid programs try to directly improve people’s lives through activities such as building boreholes, running agricultural training programs, or setting up youth programs. When evaluating these types of programs it can be difficult to know if community members really believe that their situation ... Read More »

The Parenting Map for monitoring orphans and vulnerable children

Working with orphans and vulnerable children can be extremely challenging in developing countries. There are usually only a small number of staff available to monitor the children’s well-being, and often those staff have limited training and experience. As a result, many programs deliver a standard set of interventions for every ... Read More »

The Batteries Methodology for measuring quality of life

Improving people’s quality of life is the ultimate goal for many international development programs, even though it might not be stated as such. Having a high quality of life just means having a full and happy life. For example, programs to increase people’s income or health only do this so those ... Read More »

Using the ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) Technique to measure the intangible

In development, it is essential to measure if programs are having the desired impact. However, intangible goals such as ’empowerment’, ‘leadership skills’ and ‘confidence’ are difficult to measure with normal quantitative monitoring tools. This is particularly true in social change programs where improvements in attitudes, behaviour and beliefs take place ... Read More »

Using the Bristol stool scale to measure diarrhea

According to the WHO, diarrhea is “the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day, or more frequently than is normal for the individual”. Diarrhea is often a symptom of a gastrointestinal infection which can be caused by bacteria, virus or parasite. It can also be a ... Read More »

Measuring poverty using the Progress out of Poverty Index®

Photo by hdptcar

The $1.25 per day international poverty line is the most commonly used measure of poverty. International agencies use it, donors use it, and many NGOs and microfinance institutions want to make sure their programs are reaching people below this line. Unfortunately, determining whether a family actually lives on less than ... Read More »

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