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Value of Design

This resource helps articulate the benefits that design skills and mindsets can bring to global health projects through a curated set of value of design statements that connect the benefits of design to key challenges facing the global health community.



The value of design diagram showcases the benefits of design classified into four broad themes:

  • Better outcomes (User)

  • Improved processes (Program)

  • Expanded capabilities (Organization)

  • Increased equity (System)

How was this resource developed?

  • Project kickoff and follow-up interviews with GH practitioners from USAID & BMGF

  • Extracted problem & benefit statements for design from a range of published sources

  • Brought together a diverse group of design and global health practitioners to test and iterate these statements from different perspectives

  • Designed an overarching framework to categorize the benefits on a spectrum from ‘user’ to ‘system’

Next steps:

We view these tools as evolving resources that continue to be developed and improved. In the next version of this resource, we hope to add case studies and examples that illustrate the values of design. This would allow the values of design to be more easily understood by those new to them and could also serve as an evidence base for demonstrating their effectiveness in tackling global health challenges.

List of Sources

  • Traditional Socio-Behavioral Research (SBR) and Human-centered Design (HCD), Similarities, Unique Contributions and Synergies By Elizabeth E. Tolley, PhD, FHI 360

  • Human-centred Design In Global Health: A Scoping Review of Applications and Contexts, PLOS One

  • HCD in Global Health & Development, Guidance to Maximize Impact and Mitigate Risk, Prepared by AVAC for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • HCD Exchange Tanzania, CIFF, Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Human-centered Design Strategic Plan, Prepared by Dalberg Design for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • In Search of Alternatives: The Value of Design for International Development, Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Andrawes, L., (Forthcoming 2019), Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London