Mothers United 1 scaled

Rethinking how to increase income levels of young mothers in Nairobi slums

PARTNERS
Plan International Kenya
DONORS
Plan International Global Hub (innovation fund)
LOCATION

Nairobi, Kenya

HCD TEAM
Lisanne de Bakker (Portugal), Julita Bhagat (Kenya)
ASSIGNMENT
The challenge that needed to be addressed was formulated through the question: How can we empower young women to increase their income?


Leading an innovation sprint with Plan International to create economic solutions to impact young mothers and their children.

APPROACH

There was a 2-week innovation sprint. During week 1 we held a research sprint to go from a wide problem to a well-defined design challenge based on expert input and qualitative research with youth within the community.

Week 1 Research sprint

Results;

  1. Most young mothers are faced with uncertainty when it comes to their income
  2. Informal work can give young women the flexibility they need
  3. The children are the biggest priority
  4. There are some obstacles to realise their dream

Week 2 Design sprint

  1. Ideation
    In order to answer the question we held an ideation day together with the youth. Based on this ideation session we came up with a concept: Mothers unite.Three important elements belong to this concept: a referral system to vet clients and service providers, a daycare model to organize reliable and affordable childcare, and group saving with a more modest daily amount.
  2. Prototyping
    Different childcare models were explored which should be more reliable and accessible than existing daycare options. In this phase three models were tested, a time-sharing model, a fee-based model and a full-time paid model
  3. User testing & Validation
    At the end of the design sprint the final concept was validated in a day through 5 final user testing sessions where the target groups got to express their thoughts on the concept.
OUTCOME

Mothers Unite, a cooperative led by young mothers, which ensures better quality and a more stable work environment for informal domestic services, such as childcare, cleaning and washing clothes.
Three important elements belong to this concept: a referral system to vet clients and service providers, a daycare model to organize reliable and affordable childcare, and group saving with a more modest daily amount.

Which allows the groups to self-organize and gather clients in their own community. The aim is that women can form a group with others that they already know and trust. This also gives space to start a trustworthy group saving project, with an affordable daily income.

A referral system is put into place in order to vet clients and service providers: at all times, the goal is to create a safe and risk-free working environment for young women. At the same time, a worker offering domestic services seems more reliable when they are part of a collective. That way there is always a representative. It will also help women increase their skill and client base: the referral system allows women to focus on one particular skill, so if a client is looking for that service, they can be referred to the most skilled service provider.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Case Studies, Idea generation, Kenya, Social Entrepreneurship, Women Empowerment, Youth Employment

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