Tools to Design with Girls Remotely

Download these methods to keep girls at the center of programming, even in remote times.

At the Billion Girls CoLab, we don’t just want girls to be the end users–we want to position them at the center of design research, brainstorming, and testing process. not beneficiaries or participants in this process. So we’ve set out to build a new set of methods that put girls in the driver’s seat of design research and help ensure that program managers can continue co-designing solutions with girls in remote times. 

These methods were designed to invoke play and be easy to use to inspire creativity and self-reflection amongst girls. As we’ve seen from past experience, injecting play and making helps to shift power dynamics, offer girls different forms of expression, and spark imagination for future possibilities. These methods have been inspired by activities and conversations with partners such as Maisha Youth, PSI Ethiopia, and MSI Sahel and helped program teams like these to continue engaging with adolescent girls and their communities that are fun, interactive, and peer-led– even remotely. 

Try them out! We’d love to hear from you and how these methods are working!

A Week in the Life

Understand the daily rhythms, activities, and emotions of girls. Overtime, we might observe new details and self-reflections that cannot be captured through a standard, and standalone interview. 

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Activities Include:

  • Audio Journal: Listen to daily reflections by having girls record audio prompts (best for low-literate participants). 
  • Daily Diary: Invite girls to track daily thoughts through writing prompts

Reflective Collages

Enable self-reflection through a craft project. These collage exercises explore aspirations, fears and trust, offering us a window into key influencers and motivating forces in the lives of participants. 

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Activities Include:

  • My Life When I’m 35: Learn about a girl’s future aspirations. 
  • The People I Trust the Most: Identify the individuals a girl trusts the most. 
  • The Things I Fear: Hear what people, places, or norms are holding girls back. 

Community Exchange

Create new communication channels for different communities to share information and stories with each other. These Community Exchange activities will give us insight into community norms and a girl’s place in the community. 

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Activities Include:

  • Through Their Eyes: Get a personal, insider perspective on community life. 
  • Story Prompts: Uncover social and community norms through interactive storytelling. 
  • Stories to Tell: Understand different approaches by inviting girls to build a storyline together.

Youth Connectors

Designate, train, and empower a Youth Connector (YC) to facilitate design activities with peers. YCs should be members of the community that help mobilize peers and run activities. Here are some suggestions for how we might consider this role, if it doesn’t exist already. 

Download the Youth Connector Guide

About the Billion Girls CoLab: At the Billion Girls CoLab, we create the space for girls to imagine their futures and then catalyze a network of actors to bring those visions to life. We are changing the paradigm for who sets the agenda and who drives solution development for adolescent girl health.