I’ve worked on projects of all sizes—with non-profits, governments, and Global Fortune 1000 companies on topics such as civil and human rights, financial inclusion and consumer protection, and media development. Here are some of them.
Fostering community-driven responses to long-term displacement challenges in Jordan
Mahali Lab is a community-driven innovation lab started by the International Rescue Committee in Jordan, focused on fostering community engagement in identifying and solving challenges posed by long-term displacement. It is part community consultation (to identify and solve problems), and part incubator (supporting entrepreneurial individuals and teams to develop innovative solutions to these problems). As a designer manager of Mahali, I help design and implement the lab's tools and processes, and identify community problems through design research, synthesis, and framing. I also identify, train, and support high-potential Mahali participants from a variety of backgrounds (refugees and vulnerable people living in Jordan, civic and social leaders, community-based organizations, and local entrepreneurs) who are working to address these challenges.
To learn more: A blog post describing the Mahali Lab approach
Increasing Support for Reproductive Health Activities in Niger
As part of a USAID-funded engagement, implemented by Population Services International (PSI) with the technical assistance of YLabs, I led a team to uncover youth and religious leaders’ perspectives on and knowledge of reproductive health products and services, particularly birth spacing practices, in the Zinder region of Niger. We sought to better understand the health, social, and economic contexts that influence their attitudes and decision making. Through interviews, observation, participatory research activities, and co-design workshops, we explored how social norms, peers, family, aspirations, religion, and financial constraints affect their decisions. Driven by these findings, we designed rapid, low-fidelity prototypes that were subsequently field-tested with religious leaders, youth, and healthcare workers across target districts. We then evaluated which prototypes demonstrated the most potential with respect to a number indicators, including sustainability, financial viability, and low risk to communities. Ultimately, the chosen solutions built on religious principles for birth spacing and family well-being, addressed myths and misconceptions of family planning, and encouraged responsible parenting.
To learn more: A short write-up on the project by YLabs
Reimagining the First-Time Voter Experience in the US
Through a partnership with non-profit Democracy Works, I led a team of researchers and designers to help address low turnout rates among America's young, first-time voters. Through a combination of exploratory, evaluative, and comparative research, we found key behavioral trends that heavily influence whether young voters will actually vote or not, and provided design recommendations to address each one, to ultimately help push more people to the polls. This engagement was honored by the Core77 Design Awards in the 'Strategy & Research' and 'Service Design' categories as well as by the International Design Excellence Awards in the 'Design Strategy' category.
To learn more:
Embracing Informality: Designing Financial Services for China’s Marginalized
We conducted a study to explore and share a deep understanding of the daily lives of China’s rural villagers, migrants workers, and ethnic minorities, and their use of informal financial services. As co-author, my particular focus was to build the case for a new remittance service that meets the untapped financial needs of migrant workers, while still being feasible in China’s existing legal and business environment.
To learn more:
Reaching Survivors of Human Trafficking in NYC
Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program provides services to survivors of labor and sex trafficking. We worked on how best to reach potential victims, who are often difficult to contact and may be hesitant to seek out help. My role was to conduct ethnographic research (in English & Spanish) and develop prototypes in support of a new outreach strategy focused on leveraging check cashing shops.
To learn more:
EasyPack: Redesigning the Humanitarian Data Toolkit
EasyPack is an intuitive and easy to implement organizing solution to use Internews’ Humanitarian Data Toolkit (HDT) and keep track of its components. My team conducted interviews with Internews staff and partners who piloted the HDT in Dadaab, Kenya, then built and tested a series of prototypes taking into consideration the different cultural contexts and the needs of users of varying levels of technical knowledge. The final prototype was awarded as the winner of Design Thinking DC‘s 2013 Summer of Design.
To learn more: