Southern Africa Resilience Innovation lab recently conducted a Needs finding (Ethnography) workshop from 12-13 August 2015. The workshop was hosted at the University of Pretoria Graduate Centre were SA RIlab is based. It brought together seven short listed applicants who responded to the Resilience Innovation Challenge for Food Security and Improved Income Generation (RIC4FIG), SA RILab team, SA RILab Network Plus partners and Emily Gousen a visiting research fellow from the University of California, Davis.
The objectives of the workshop were to equip participants with the following:
- Clear understanding of the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) approach to identifying and developing innovations
- Knowledge of the appropriate skills and tools to use in community engagement for needs finding
- Clear understanding of the concept of increasing innovation impact potential
- Knowledge to develop detailed plans for conducting needs finding and a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan for their innovations
The presentation on the RAN Innovation approach by Prof Lekan Ayo-Yusuf, the Director of SA RILab was well received by the participants and set the tone for the workshop. The innovators highlighted that they found the workshop to be informative and felt well equipped to go into the field.
“The workshop was so detailed and informative; it felt like a full time course.”
“The approaches we were taken through are highly relevant in various development contexts, human centred development is key in achieving impact at all levels particularly with the end users in communities.”
At the end of the workshop innovators drafted roadmaps for conducting needs finding and developed lists of key stakeholders to be engaged in their target communities of Dikgale, Chikwawa and Beitbridge. The innovators who will be funded will conduct needs finding workshops in their target communities in the near future.