PALO ALTO, California- Innovation Design Engineering Organization (IDEO) is a non-profit design organization that works with other non-profits, foundations, and companies to aid in reducing global poverty through innovation.
Donations and service fees help fund the company and the organizations that partner with IDEO.org are asked to pay for the direct costs of the collaborative projects. Different areas of work include health, clean water, education, finance, and energy. The IDEO fellowship program seeks to educate others and give them design experience that will continue to help them bring innovative solutions to communities fighting with poverty and unhealthy living conditions.
The main focus of IDEO.org is to use new tools and ideas to design social solutions to a multitude of problems. The organizations that IDEO.org partners with all want to create something in struggling communities that will have an effective and sustainable impact.
A recent project in India helped to update the medical data capturing methods of healthcare providers. Teaming up with World Health Partners, IDEO.org sent a team of tech designers to help implement a data tracking system and feedback methods for doctors at hospitals private practices.
The designers are currently working with the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) to create an inexpensive teff row planter to aid farmers in Ethiopia. The less expensive the row planter is, the easier it will be for farmers to afford it which results in an increased ability to work with it and therefore an increase in income. Statistics say that two out of three people living in Ethiopia consume teff every day, making an effective teff row planter necessary and significant to impact the quality of life for farmers and other residents. The IDEO program with the ATA used an adherence program to teach the Ethiopian farmers how to plant teff in a more efficient way. The adherence program is designed to change behavior, teff planting in this case. The six steps to the adherence program are believe, frame, know, prompt, act and reinforce.
The first step, believe, shows the farmers that the new invention works using demonstrations. Moving on to framing gives both parties education on how and why teff planting works, or the mechanics of it in nature. The Know step teaches the farmers how to operate the planter, and the Prompt step gets everyone involved and supports funding for the new process. Finally, act and reinforce involve introducing them to the new planters and getting them to use the new process as well as providing feedback.
All of the steps used and designs made are examples of what IDEO.org does and continues to do for those in need. Instead of just giving hand-outs of cash to poor groups of people, they have integrated themselves as part of the solution. The work with other organization to literally manufacture an answer to some of the toughest problems people are dealing with in the world today. IDEO.org and their teams are making positive impacts on the lives of countless souls all over the globe.
– Kaitlin Sutherby