Created by The Mama Hope Team
Addressing the roadblocks that will inevitably come up when implementing any project requires optimism, patience, energy, and thinking outside the box—none of which come easily for most. Creative thinking especially stumps me, personally. Fortunately for me and anyone else who isn’t quite sure how to approach a problem in an innovative way, the Hear Create Deliver (HCD) process has our backs.
At Mama Hope, we used the HCD method in the office last week to begin a dialogue about how to hold effective project planning workshops in the field with our local counterparts as well as how our Global Advocates could successfully monitor the quality of our projects. Each of us looked at the specific Methods outlined by HCD, courtesy of IDEO, in order to come up with effective tools that we can use in the field.
Step 1: HEAR
Listening is vital. To come into a situation with the assumption that one knows everything is to make a huge mistake. At Mama Hope, one of the fundamental principles in our connected development approach is to first listen to what the communities need—no one knows better than they do. No matter what the project entails, one must first allow every participant the opportunity to voice his or her ideas, opinions, concerns, and questions. Here are some specific methods we use from HCD to create an environment in which people can speak freely, invites people to participate eagerly and brings a needed perspective on the challenges we are addressing.
- Community driven discovery
- Identify people from the community who will provide key information. Incorporate them into the planning and leadership process.
- Group interview
- Create a comfortable setting
- Allow people to first break up into smaller numbers and talk amongst themselves before coming to the whole group—this increases each person’s confidence in their ideas and encourages total participation
- Mama Hope example: In order to gauge the quality of St. Timothy’s School we have conducted group interviews with the students at the school.
- Ask people to document their experiences for themselves. Give a kid a camera and let him film his own environment, maybe giving a tour of the school, for example. What he chooses to include or leave out will be telling as to what aspects are made the most use of.
- Mama Hope example: we have used donated GoPro’s to have students film their environment and create videos of their school, friends, houses, communities.
Step 2: CREATE
The create portion of the HCD process is where the real brainstorming happens. Hearing was all about getting the framework—understanding the problem. Now, it is time to figure out what can be done to make things run more smoothly. Ideally much of this would happen in the workshops with the advocates.
- Look at the challenge you’ve identified and encourage everyone to throw out as many ideas as they can. Think quantity over quality.
- Diagrams or Models
- Now, expand on the ideas. Break up into pairs or small groups and look at a specific idea and physically map out how it would work with pictures or models.
- Build on the idea
- Take the ideas generated back to the community and see if they feel that they make sense.
Step 3: DELIVER
This is where the magic happens. The time has come to transform those well thought-out ideas into reality.
- Holistic impact assessment
- List out how the implementations will impact people. Create a map of effect.
- Track changes
- Try to measure both qualitative and quantitative impacts. Qualitative is more difficult—think of creative ways to measure people’s satisfaction.
- Learning loop
- Revisit the “hear” step and incorporate new information gathered from testing out the ideas. Go back through the steps.
There you have it, the Hear-Create-Deliver method. Here’s what Mama Hope came up with, what can you do with your specific project, program or group? Follow our stories and projects on HCD!