Democracy and Governance

Prototyping Civic Engagement: What we learned from early failures

4:30 PM–6:00 PM Nov 8, 2017

Thurgood Salon South - Ignite 14 (Wed 5:35-5:40pm)

Add to Agenda Notes

Prototyping allows practitioners to test and evaluate ideas while there is time to adapt and improve within the program cycle. This ignite presentation will feature two prototyping experiences from civic engagement programs in the Lake Chad region (Niger and Chad). A rapid prototype comes early, at the design phase of an intervention. Testing ideas early allows teams to “fail faster” so that necessary changes made, unworkable ideas abandoned, and promising avenues can be identified before investing too much time and energy. Think of a rapid prototype as “idea survivor,” with weak ideas being booted off the tropical island and stronger ideas surviving to live and play another day. The focus of the presentation will be experiments conducted to test the hypothesis that there are alternatives to broadcasting when attempting to increase listenership of pre-recorded radio programs. This hypothesis was informed by the novel behaviors of radio listeners in Niger and Chad, who use flash drives and file transfer applications on their mobile phones to receive and share radio program content. We paid attention to what listeners were already doing to design a structured prototype (formative evaluation), which yielded additional insights leading to changes in our civic engagement intervention designs in Niger and Chad. 

Speaker Info:

  • Karen Greiner, Session Facilitator