Designing for Children in Myanmar: Improving Case Management Services through Design
By Klaus Oberbauer, UNICEF Myanmar Innovation Lead
In January 2016, the UNICEF Myanmar Child Protection section started a partnership with Point B Design + Training (Point B) to train social case managers from the Department of Social Welfare with Design Thinking methods.
Design Thinking and Human Centered Design is an approach that is increasingly used by development organizations and has shown great potential to bridge the gap between good theoretical concepts and people-focused implementation. UNICEF Myanmar conducted training workshops aimed to integrate the Design Thinking methodology to effectively implement a social case management system in a country that barely had any social government services in its history.
After initial training workshops, a follow-up workshop about lessons learned & review was held from June 3rd – June 5th, at the Point B Learning and Social Innovation Lab located at Mawlamyine University in Mon State, Myanmar. Revealing very promising developments, social case managers from 4 townships participated in the workshop and shared their reflections about their experiences and the progress made since the last training.
- A better understanding of the importance and objectives of case management
Previously, the case managers defined the success of their work through the number of cases they solved. After the first training, discussions with their stakeholders have materialized ensuring to solve cases in the best interest of their clients
- Increase in community involvement
Case managers realized that a vital component in solving cases is through integrating and engaging more people in the community in the case resolution process.
- Improved teamwork and relationships with their colleagues and stakeholders
As case managers have become more collaborative, their relationships with their colleagues’ have significantly improved.
Some of the case managers were even able to engage their superiors to work on a continuous process of improvement to meet the needs of their clients.
- Developed better cooperation with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies.
They were also able to develop better cooperation with NGOs who act as implementing partners, as well as increase the awareness of their work to the police, another key partner for resolving cases successfully.
In order to understand their partners in an even better way, the case managers worked with empathy maps to describe the situation of an NGO partner, a mother, and a police officer. This proved to be a very powerful tool in helping them understand the perspective of their counterparts.