Category

News

Karin Jansma

Human Centred Design a key to the homelessness solution

By | News

by Ruth Knight – QUT – Postdoctoral Research Fellow – The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies

 

As nonprofits we seek change, change for our beneficiaries, families and communities. In particular, homelessness is one social challenge we are all seeking to reduce.

But how do we do that in an innovative way? How can we get smarter at developing services and interventions that create transformation for those experiencing homelessness, and for our organisation that needs to be efficient and effective?

One way I believe we can achieve this, is by using Human Centred Design (HCD). What is HCD exactly? It’s is a deliberate process where you listen to, and observe people to understand the challenge from their perspective, then use what you learn as inspiration to develop innovative solutions that are systematically tested and evaluated as it is developed.

It is a continuous process of listening, observing, and learning from those you work with, then collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders such as academia, policy makers, practitioners from across the sector including business. No one should be left out of the process!

Essentially, it’s all collaborating and brainstorming to drive new ideas and innovation, and then putting those innovative ideas into practice.

For an idea of HCD in practice, these are the basic steps you should follow when designing a service or intervention:

1. Talk to people

Talk to everybody, including the beneficiaries, experts that work with homeless people, academics and researchers, and all the different people within your organisation – that could be people from departments like HR, finance and fundraising. It might even be business people and government as well. Get everybody talking to you about the challenge to get a real collaborative viewpoint on the issue and ways to overcome it.

2. Form insights

Form insights from the many different points of view and different perspectives you’ve gained – bring together all that information from the policy makers, service providers, the beneficiaries themselves and more. That’s how you form insights into the real problem. To get to know know what the REAL problem is, you have to drill it all down.

 3. Ideate and prototype

Once you have an understanding of what the real problem is, it’s time to start looking for an innovative solution. Explore what the various solutions might be. Ideate and prototype the concept of a solution, but don’t go spend all your money on it yet if you don’t know it’s right.

4. Test and iterate

Put the solution into practice and evaluate its effectiveness, refining any aspects or barriers to success as you go.

As you can see, HCD crosses the traditional boundaries between public, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors. HCD allows high-impact solutions to bubble up from challenging our assumptions, thinking about social problems in a different way and working more collaboratively with those in the community to achieve better outcomes and collective impact.

I truly believe this process is the way to design an end to homelessness and poverty by bringing creativity, empathy, and innovation to the social sector.

 

At The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies we are also currently developing a course for non-profits to learn how to do HCD. For more information, feel free to contact me at ruth.knight@qut.edu.au or find out more online.

The new Lady Musgrave Trust website

Welcome to the new home of The Lady Musgrave Trust

By | News

Welcome to the new online home of The Lady Musgrave Trust. As Queensland’s oldest charity, The Lady Musgrave Trust was founded in 1885 and has a proud and long history of service. In this time, the Trust has provided accommodation and support assistance to more than 10,000 young women and their children.

This new and improved website and revamped look represents a new chapter for The Lady Musgrave Trust and one that is filled with exciting things ahead. We still have so much more important work to do.

Please take the time to read about what we do, our history and our research on homelessness and young women. Discover more about the services we offer, how your support helps and the many success stories we are happy to share.

On our new site, you’ll also find plenty of information about how to get involved and the various events the Trust is involved in such as our Annual Women and Homelessness Forum, which is we just held or our fabulous ShelterHer Cocktail Party very fast approaching.

The Handy Guide

Another very exciting resource you can find here – and one that we are very proud to offer, free of cost – is The Handy Guide.

This guide is an informative booklet developed by The Lady Musgrave Trust to empower women across Queensland – both in rural and major metropolitan areas – who are without shelter or at risk of becoming homeless.

It is a comprehensive go-to resource developed to help women in need, when they need it most, with the details and listings of vital services such as accommodation, food and welfare, health services, legal assistance and specialist domestic violence support services. It also features a wealth of information on community and employment services, as well as emergency phone numbers.

Looking forwards

Going forward, The Lady Musgrave Trust has ambitions to become a key resource on women and homelessness in Queensland and to continue to be a name that people know and recognise as a hub they can turn to for advice and support.