CREEC:IMPROVING LIVELIHOODS AT IDDS SUMMIT

CREEC:IMPROVING LIVELIHOODS AT IDDS SUMMIT

A participant demonstrates to a colleague how to build charcoal briquettes

In an era of cellphones and internet, one would find it difficult to believe that for majority of African communities, wood is the primary source of fuel for cooking. But who pays the price? The environment as well the 4.3billion people that die annually from exposure to household air pollutants according to the WHO. On 22 August, 2019, CREEC and partners International Development Innovation Network started the International Development Design Summit (IDDS) Uganda 2019: Transforming Household Livelihoods, with 28 participants and 18 organizers from 11 countries. The three-week summit engaged participants in learning sessions about design and entrepreneurship by co-creating a technology and developing business models with community members from Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement.

Months before IDDS began, in May 2019, organizers went to Rhino Camp to run a five-day Creative Capacity Building (CCB) workshop with 25 refugees and residents of host communities. This CCB workshop introduced the design cycle and built creative confidence through hands-on, project-based activities. The CCB participants created a list of challenges they faced and formed three teams to design and make their own technology solutions.

This is the second IDDS that CREEC has organized and for the participants it brought a wealth of diverse experiences, cultures and backgrounds. The goal of this summit is to empower local innovation through design to improve household livelihoods and to build a community of problem solvers that will continue developing bottom-up innovations beyond the summit. 

Angela and Derrick the team from CREEC organised the IDDS in collaboration with a great group of partners

In the first week, participants went through design cycle, where the six teams worked on the first iteration of their prototypes and were later taken to Rhino Camp to gather feedback to co-create their technologies and develop business models together with more Rhino Camp refugees.Summits emphasize the importance of “co-creation,”the idea that working with communities is more powerful than designing solutions for them. During a summit, participants work in teams with community members from developing countries, learn the design cycle, identify problems and solutions, and test prototypes. This in turn improves the quality and the efficiency of the improved cookstoves designed by manufacturers. We are confident that this summit empowered local innovation through design to improve household livelihoods and to build a community of problem solvers that will continue developing bottom-up innovations beyond the summit. On a recent progress report, the participants shared how they shared on how they have continued to use the technologies developed during the summit to make briquettes, simsim sweets and bags from recycled “kaveera”

Photos courtesy of Liz Hunt

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