Achieving Our Vision

Building a community of practice of global health experts, implementing partners, and designers is critical for saving and improving lives.”

Seven Opportunities to Integrate

Design into Global Health

The application of design in global health has not yet reached its full potential. Design has often been used as a spark or an ingredient to ‘fix’ a product or service. Its impact would be greater if the design was incorporated from the start in a program cycle. To this end, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID convened in 2017 a group of global health experts and designers to reflect on the application of design in global health.

The group co-created a vision to amplify the impact of design in global health by increasing its understanding, use, and value. They identified seven steps to achieve this shared vision, including building a community of practice:



: Define, Differentiate, and Communicate

Define design, and tailor the lexicon, principles, behaviors, and frameworks that surround design for global health audiences.


STEP 2: adapt and integrate

Improve design approaches, particularly for better integration with other disciplines, and understand the use cases for design in global health.


step 3: preserve integrity and quality

Ensure the integrity and quality of design and research practices and understand that cross-disciplinary integration does not mean dilution.


step 4: share and learn

Build a community of practice that integrates design into global health projects with the goal of sharing experiences and transferring know-how.


STEP 5: train and educate

Expand design capacity through activities that improve design awareness, design fluency, and design practice in communities where the need is greatest.


step 6: collect data and evidence

Define a set of principles for how to collect a body of evidence on how the data and results of an effective design process can contribute to health outcomes.


step 7: structure, contract and fund

Assess design costs and improve the way projects are funded, structured, and sequenced so that they can better integrate approaches like design.