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Dutch Relief Alliance Learning Event

Dutch Relief Alliance Learning Event

Event – December 4th, 2018

Contributing to the yearly learning event of the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA) , together with CARE Netherlands and Butterfly Works and in collaboration with KUNO and the DRA Innovation Working Group, Roza Freriks from the DCHI team has provided a workshop on Design Thinking Methodologies. Graciela van der Poel from CARE Netherlands explained how these methodologies had helped their colleagues as well as the local partners they work with within the Syrian Joint Response, to better understand the reality of gender integration throughout the humanitarian programme cycle.

Using creative methods to reflect on the challenges at hand, can naturally lead to refreshing ideas on how to deal with these better. Thus kick-starting the innovation process with a focus on the problem, will ensure the solutions you end up shaping later on, are in line with the needs on the ground – even when these grounds are as complicated as the situation in Syria. Design Thinking Methodologies can support you in doing so together with the key stakeholders.

At the learning event  which was held in The Hague, the participants from the different humanitarian organisations represented in the DRA got a chance to try out some of these methods for themselves. The exercises of Butterfly Works challenged them to get to the heart of the problems they face in their work. Looking at these issues from different angles than usual, unleashed the creativity to think of other solutions than usual as well, which the participants got to build using Lego, storyboards, and the very coffee-cups and spoons laying around them.

“In the end, all of us always want the quality of our programming to improve,” one of the participants summarised to the group. “Using these methods today reminded me how important it is that we keep taking the time to involve the beneficiaries in the design and implementation of our programmes, even in the case of emergencies.”