Designing development interventions: The application of service design and discrete choice experiments in complex settings

Matthew Osborne, Fiona Lambe, Ylva Ran, Naira Dehmel, Giovanni Alberto Tabacco, Joshua Balungira, Borja Perez-Viana, Erik Widmark, Stefan Holmlid, Arjan Verschoor

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The persistence of problems such as endemic poverty, rising inequalities, climate change and biodiversity loss demands us to find solutions which are embedded in a highly complex web of interacting social, technological, and ecological processes. Service design (SD), an approach to directly involve citizens in the development and improvement of services and systems, shows promise as a tool to support the design of interventions to address complex development challenges in the Global South. In this paper we describe how service design was used alongside discrete choice experiments (DCEs) to inform the design of a Weather Index Insurance product for small holder farmers in Uganda. As part of the service design process, we used archetypes to capture and articulate the multiple vulnerabilities of farmers and quickly test prototype insurance packages to identify important design features. DCEs tested promising design features in a manner that complemented as well as triangulated the service design phase. The results of both phases were used to inform the design of a WII product that has been taken up by major insurance providers in Uganda. The approach complements and builds on qualitative work typically done to inform DCEs by opening up space for research participants to question core assumptions, and by involving respondents directly in the process of designing a future service.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105998
JournalWorld Development
Early online date25 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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