The one thing that I have taken away from this project is that process is key. I think the biggest idea that was constantly being reiterated was making the process visible. Our facilitators have stressed on the importance of focusing on the process and not the final product itself. Having a visibly documented process helps us retrace our steps – in case we hit a roadblock – and work up with an altered plan or perspective.
I have developed an enormous amount of respect for the Health Navigators and the work that they are doing for the community. They are enterprising and motivated women who are dedicated to goal of bringing about change at the grassroots level. I feel that there is a lot of potential in the women to pick up new skills. Given the resources, they can play a more versatile role in the service. A point of concern is that there is a lack of awareness about preventive healthcare in the community. The concept is not common even among some educated clients. This has been a problem for the HNs, as the clients sometimes do not take their services seriously or are unwilling to sign up for them.
The most interesting part of the project for me, was the field trips to Chanapatana. It was a humbling experience to get out of one’s comfort zone and work in a completely different environment and context. The implications of taking a participatory approach to design has been one of the most educating aspects of the project. In retrospect, it has made me think of how differently the project would have turned out, had it been a regular client-designer project. Because the HNs were an integral part of the process, the final concepts that emerged were as much a result of their work as ours. Even though the ideas themselves aren’t new or ground-breaking, the feeling of ownership that the HNs have towards them wouldn’t be the same, had they come directly from us.