How does the process link to global health?


The global health community develops solutions through continued learning in research and/or implementation science. It then uses findings from this research and/or implementation science to develop and refine interventions that address global health challenges. Mapping this approach to the Double Diamond model shows the complementary nature of the design and global health processes.

The design process can expand global health practitioners’ approach by providing new perspectives on existing challenges and different ways to visualize insights. The process can then facilitate understanding of traditional research outputs and methods to more rapidly translate these insights into tangible prototypes and solutions that can be tested and refined. Design, thus helps operationalize findings from traditional research approaches by ensuring that programs not only incorporate their results, but also that the insights gleaned are designed for local contexts.

Similar to design research, clinical research involves the rigorous testing of solutions in appropriate settings, but this process is characterized by a different (often longer) timeframe, and incorporates the more stringent requirements appropriate for development of drugs, vaccines, etc. However, for interventions that pose a lower risk, clinical-level, randomized, controlled trials may be either unnecessary or inappropriate. For example, when developing a new vaccine, it is vital to follow the necessary rigor and requirements of the clinical trial process. But when developing or testing new medical recording mechanisms that allow parents and providers to better track the protection of a child’s health (e.g., the receipt of preventive services), the process can be more flexible. This provides the opportunity for design research to play a significant role. As designers and global health practitioners continue to work together, we hope that they will continue to identify the appropriate contexts in which design research can either support clinical studies, or provide the primary research platform.

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