Each year billions and billions of dollars are distributed from rich countries to poor countries in the form of international aid funding. As part of the Amplify program — and in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) — we had the opportunity to design a completely new approach.
Utilizing an online innovation platform, we created a funding process that is transparent, collaborative, and welcoming to outside expertise and excluded perspectives. We also specifically funded innovation emerging from local communities and grassroots organizations, providing seed funding and human-centered design support. We piloted technology solutions that directly included the voices of last-mile stakeholders, including cloud translation, interactive voice response, and radio programming. Design challenges tackled by Amplify during my tenure included safety and security for women in urban slums, early childhood development, and refugee education.
I led the establishment of the Amplify program for IDEO.org, which included securing $15 million in funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), designing the program structure, building a team, and creating partnerships with organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Once Amplify launched, I was its director for 18 months, where I led a design and program team of approximately ten people. I also directly project led our design work focused on digital inclusion of last-mile stakeholders.