Demand for Health Services

A Human-Centred Field Guide for Investigating and Responding to Challenges

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UNICEF Innovation


This field guide introduces human-centred design as an approach to addressing challenges related to community demand for basic health services like immunization.

Human-centred design is a problem-solving process that begins with understanding the “human factors” and context surrounding a challenge and works directly with users—the intended clients or consumers of services—to develop solutions that are viable and appropriate in a given context. Designing for people and their everyday interactions helps uncover and solve the right problems using local capacities and resources.

No expert has more knowledge than a caregiver, nurse, or a community health worker about how to solve their most pressing problems. The methodologies in this toolkit acknowledge this by focusing on collaboration and designing with—not for—the people we seek to serve.

Human-centred design works to uncover latent needs that service providers and programme recipients may not even know they have before the process begins. The approach is “bottom up” in the sense that both problems and solutions are defined and developed locally, not imposed from elsewhere. While this guide primarily focuses on issues and examples related to immunization, the process and tools are relevant to a broad range of health programmes that depend on generating community demand for services. Please adapt and deploy this approach for your own programme priorities.

Demand for Health Services
UNICEF Health Section Implementation Research and Delivery Science Unit and the Office of Innovation Global Innovation Centre
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