Better Living Challenge

Social innovation and collaboration models

From competition event to cooperation

Following an assessment of the BLC 1 initiative, a need was identified to research move the Better Living Challenge model from a competition-event to co-operative capacitation. This change in emphasis could only be done by developing a model for multi-stakeholder collaboration, enabled by design and social innovation methodologies which address complex and wicked problems within the context of informal settlements.

The Collaboration Model

The first three phases of the collaboration (colab process) serve the need:

  • Develop deep contextual insight into a problem
  • Create shared commitment with key enabling stakeholders
  • Using commitment to develop interventions and prototypes

The prototype phase develops and tests key hypotheses for impact. The last phase measures impact of these interventions and develops them appropriately. This also becomes a key basis for social impact and outcomes funding. The Colab brings system actors, representative of the wider system together into a co-creative and participatory space. CDI will act as a System Catalyst to facilitate the ongoing process through the five stages of the Colab. The SC becomes a repository of information regarding social innovation and design thinking processes.

Social Innovation

A collaborative challenge model provides a framework for surfacing design and social innovation. This framework guides the choices for core content and activities that should take place to transform the conditions and outcomes. When issuing challenges to our various initiatives (e.g. Living Labs), we follow the design-led process in the following ways:

Discover: Assessing the community assets and needs

  • Understanding the community context
  • System understanding

Define: Developing vision mission, objectives, relationships and recruiting participants

  • Collaborative planning
  • Developing leadership

Develop: Design interventions and advocacy, including program evaluation and measure for system change

  • Community action and managing platforms
  • Evaluation community initiatives

Deliver: Social marketing, building and testing ideas, with the one of the main aims to scale

  • Promoting and sustaining the initiatives
  • Upscaling and capturing key learnings for further development work