Designing a better world, one NGO at a time.


By Group 4 | Nina Boorsma, Emma Cherim, Nina Rutten, Camila Toro and Orkun Tekeli |


 The Positioning Statement

HUMANO is a design consultancy focused on assisting social institutions and social enterprises in their innovation efforts in international projects. In a place with an abundance of knowledge we, as HUMANO, want to facilitate sharing this knowledge, increasing mutual understanding within the company, and creating the capabilities internally for innovation.

As a design consultancy we are experts at reframing problems, experimenting and prototyping, embracing open-endedness, and co-creation. With a human-centered perspective we offer social enterprises and institutions a unique design approach to human-centered problems.

 The HUMANO Networking Platform

The value of HUMANO lies in our combination of our offline service with an online platform specially designed to fit the needs of social enterprises and organizations. Our job starts when the problem at hand is revealed, as designers we have the skills required to assist our clients when struggling to “overcome biased and narrow problem formulations, and make sense of the disparate elements of an ill-defined situation” (Calabretta et al, 2014). Reframing our clients’ problem is key in ensuring that our vision and our client’s vision are aligned towards the same direction. Formally we proceed with our four phased approach; Create, Facilitate, Visualize, and Connect and Share.

create facilitate connect


We create personalized roadmaps for our client’s specific problems and projects. The roadmap contains a set of tools and methods suggested for the company to follow in order to achieve a suitable solution to the problem. As designers we are aware that the design manner is hardly a step-by-step method and more an iterative process where occasionally going back and forth is required. So, even though the tools are arranged in a chronological manner we provide certain flexibility regarding some steps of the roadmap.


We offer our clients facilitation throughout every phase of the process using our extensive knowledge and experience. Our role is to facilitate and guide our client’s through each tool or method the roadmap entails. Our value proposition is our experience with different clients in the social field, which allows us to transfer knowledge from previous cases into new ones. Learning from previous cases has built up our expertise and our resources, for our client this translates into a more efficient design process.


We visualize the results of the facilitation and make them available online. After completing each tool, our team will be in charge of visualizing the results through sketches, diagrams, infographics, etc. Visualizations will then be uploaded into the company’s personal roadmap webpage so all their stakeholders, even the ones abroad, have access to them. Making the outcome of the tools more tangible allows people from all sorts of backgrounds to relate, understand and own the results. Additionally, it “reduces the clients’ reliance on intuition” through strong visualization of the results as well as “improving clients’ effectiveness in intuitive decision making” (Calabretta et al, 2013).


We connect social enterprises with each other and encourage them to share and discuss their information and projects with their network. Our online platform enables social institutions to build up their network with contacts that have similar problems, are in the same location or are just simply interesting to learn from.  Competition is not an issue with social enterprises; therefore our goal is to build up a community where all these institutions collaborate with each other. Our online platform is also a mean for our clients to share previous cases with each other and learn from other institutions’ processes.

As can be seen on the Connect page below, it is possible to search for new connections in HUMANO’s database of NGO’s and social enterprises. The client can then connect with these companies if they would like. They will now receive updates once these companies upload new content or other news. They can share specific information and results with specific connected companies. Finally, they can start collaborations and groups, which facilitates the organization of events, co-creation sessions, sharing of knowledge or other types of collaboration.


Membership Types

There are three levels in membership within the system of the networking platform:

Profile logos-02

  1. As a non-member or as a basic member you can make use of the platform on a very simplistic level. You can follow other companies, visit their profile, but you cannot connect via the network or see the information that the companies share on their personal profiles.

Costs: € 0 / month

Profile logos-03

  1. The second level of membership is the regular membership. As a regular member of the networking site you create a profile of your own company with the information you want to share with other ‘regular members’ of the platform. This membership entails that you can connect with other companies, follow them and read the company information that they want to share.

                                Costs: € 50 / month

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  1. Premium is the highest level of membership. The companies that are regular members can reach this level by working together with our design consultancy. If a company works together with HUMANO on a project the information about the steps that are taken and the outcome of the steps will be uploaded on their profile. The company has the freedom to share and discuss this information with the companies that are also on the premium level. This gives them the possibility to share information, connect, and learn from each other. The costs for the premium membership via collaboration with HUMANO are the same as for the regular membership. The other way to reach premium level membership is by upgrading your regular membership; this will increase the fee for the use of the platform. This way, smaller companies and organizations that do not have the means or need to collaborate with HUMANO as a consultancy can still benefit from the platform.

                                    Costs: € 50 / month (If you have worked with HUMANO)

                                    Costs: € 75 / month

The HUMANO Design Consultancy

The second part of our business model is our work as consultants and facilitators. There are two ways to come in contact with us as a consultancy, the first one is through our networking platform and the second one is through our own website.


The companies can send us their design problem and our work consists of analyzing and visualizing the first problem or project that the company is working with. After this initial analysis the company can decide if they want us to create their personalized roadmap. This roadmap consists of the steps that the company needs to take to finalize the project successfully. After the roadmap is created the company receives a login to their personal page on our website (if they do not have their personal profile yet) and on their page the company can see the digital version of the roadmap with an explanation of every step, including the amount of time and effort required to perform this step. They can now plan dates and times for each step that requires direct collaboration with our consultants. If anything is unclear the company has the option to contact their personal project consultant.



We facilitate the sessions for all the steps that need to be done. And after the sessions we upload the results on their online profiles. This way the company can consult the outcomes anytime they want and they can decide to share and discuss it with all their connections online on the networking platform.

The fee for our design consultancy is dependent on the project, the amount of hours that are needed, and the amount of consultants that need to attend the sessions. Design projects are an iterative process so the amount of time and effort are flexible during the whole process. If a project requires one of the consultants to travel abroad the costs are for the client company. Companies are free to choose if they want to follow our suggested schedule or add or drop certain steps within the roadmap.

 The Case Study

To further explain how our Personalized Roadmap works, a specific case will be elaborated on. This case will show the value HUMANO create for the social enterprises they are working with. The different steps will be illustrated on the basis of this particular case, from the initial contact, to the roadmap, to the outcome of one of the creative session that we facilitated for the company.

Medecins Sans Frontieres

Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors without Borders, are a Premium Member of HUMANO’s networking platform. They have worked with HUMANO Design Consultancy previously on two different projects and were positive about the outcome. Currently, they have been working on a new project with complex problems and they could use some support on the process and creating solutions.. Since they have had positive experiences with HUMANO they would like us to create a personalized road map for their project and facilitate the process to a successful end.

Problem Definition

In Rural South-Eastern India in the province of Andhra Pradesh the local community is threatened by Malaria. MSF’s goal is to prevent and treat the disease in the region and for this purpose; they are in the process of setting up a Malaria treatment clinic in the region. However, the doctors and medical staff that are currently working on getting the clinic started, are encountering problems and have identified that there are cultural conflicts at play that they do not completely understand. Patients that need to be treated multiple times do not return to the clinic and they often find that patients do not take their medication properly. They have determined that it is more than a language barrier and need help in defining and solving this problem.

MSF needs:

– Clear definition of the problem

– Definition of stakeholders and their needs

– Identification of the underlying cause of these patient follow-up problems

– An analysis and solution for the patient follow-up problem

At HUMANO, we always start by clarifying the problem by making it into a visualization before devising the personalized roadmap to determine if our view of the problem aligns with that of the client.


This personalized, interactive roadmap is uploaded to MSF’s personal profile page. It shows all the different steps that HUMANO proposes for the solution of this specific problem. The MSF team can now click through the steps, find basic information on the different steps and find out how much time will need to be spent on the different steps. In the expanded view of each step, they can directly schedule meetings for the workshops and sessions needed for each step. For any questions or discussions, they can contact their personal HUMANO consultant, in this case Nina.

Personalized Roadmap

The following two pictures show the personalized roadmap for this MSF project. It also shows an example of the detailed information that you find if you expand one of the steps.




This next part will elaborate on the different steps that should be taken in the MSF Road Map and the different activities and services that HUMANO offers.

1. Context Mapping

(Boeijen & Daalhuizen, 2010)


Context mapping allows the client to explore their users personal experiences with the product or service provided. Underlying goals, motivations, meanings, latent needs, and practical matters are brought to the surface using this method.


Using generative tools users are asked to map the context in which our client’s products or services are used. The complete session will follow through different stages. There is a preparation phase in which the session leader will dive into the subject and maps preconceptions to familiarize with the problem at hand. After this research is done to get a thorough understanding about what is a stakeholder. At the end of this stage the participants will be provided with homework activities, in order for them to consciously start to think about it. This will improve the ability of the participant to reflect during the session. The process of a participant receiving such a homework package is called sensitizing.
The second phase is the session itself, where the participants and session leader will have a conversation about the subject or will do several exercises. The whole process will be recorded so that the session can be analyzed afterwards. During the session the leader should bare in mind to ask open-ended questions about their state of mind concerning the sub topics discussed.

Finally, there will be an analysis and communication phase in which the outcome will be captured into a visualized result and patterns will be exposed. And the result has to be communicated to team members, other stakeholders and perhaps the participants.


The result is dependent on what knowledge our client is trying to find out about their users. Different possible outcomes are: personas, strategies on innovation, views on market segmentation, and original insights for other innovation projects. The client will receive a clearly visualized result of the context mapping.


The preparation phase will last 3 weeks of which 2 days (1 person) of work for the consultancy. The session will last half a day and the analysis and communication phase 3 days (1-2 persons).


A total of 1,5 FTE is needed to complete this step.

2. Stakeholder  Analysis  


A stakeholder analysis allows our clients to get a complete and insightful overview of all parties (persons and organizations) involved in the operations of their company. This information is valuable for the implementation of action plans and reform policies, with consensus at the base of the process.


A four-phase plan will provide the steps to take to come to a proper stakeholder analysis. The phases are: identification of all stakeholders, reason for which the company needs them, perceived attitudes/ risks and creation of a stakeholder management strategy. Phase one of the analysis is to fill in the stakeholder table for the project. The columns from left to right contain: the name of the stakeholder, stake in project, impact, why the company needs this stakeholder, perceived attitudes/ risks, stakeholder management strategy (SMS) and responsibility. Finally our client can ask himself whether he really needs this stakeholder and what the risk is if he is left out. The final project plan should address each one of the stakeholder management strategies. In case of a medium sized or big project the columns are adjusted slightly. In the end a stakeholder matrix can be made in which the vertical axis is labeled as the power/ influence the stakeholder has. And the horizontal axis is labeled as how much interest the stakeholder has in the operations of the company.


An visualized overview of all stakeholders accompanied by the extent to which these stakeholders have influence and interest in the operations of the company. This overview will also elaborate on the detailed identity of each party.


Within 3 days this task can be completed.


0,6 FTE is used to fulfill this step.

3. Creative Session



This step will provide guidance to a group of people to find ideas and solutions for a specific goal concerning solving a problem, building new skills or gaining knowledge.


For this step the consultancy uses the Frog Design method. As a team you’ll be guided through six activity areas: build your group, seek raw understanding, imagine more ideas, make something real and plan for action. It is important for the sessions to be videotaped for analysis and important ideas of discoveries to be written down on paper. At first you start by specifying the goal, or a sub goal, and finding out what impact you aim to have as a group. Thanks to the previous analysis steps this goal or at least the boundaries of the problem should be defined. Think of an action plan of which goals should be achieved and when. The next step is to determine which skills are needed to achieve the goal. Every group member will present his or her special skill as an icebreaker. Then map the knowledge present regarding the goal, look for good examples and possible experts in the environment. The next step is to gather information in the field from end users and capture their perspectives and thoughts. In this phase the results of the concept mapping can be included. This way needs can be uncovered. Once gathered this information, it can be presented in pictures and quotes to the whole group. Patterns can be discovered. Now the creative part can begin in which the group tries to come up with as many ideas as possible in a supportive manner. For this step icebreakers like group games or other tools can be used to get the creativity flowing. The ideas can be mixed and matched with other ideas, which lead to the base of a concept. Three concepts will be chosen to develop further and then finally brought down to one final concept.


The final concept will be turned into a storyboard, a short video, a creative story, a collection of real life examples and prototypes. Finally a plan of action should be made.


The time needed to complete the preparations and session itself is 3 days.


0.6 FTEs are needed for this step.

4. Prototyping


The prototyping phase is used to allow our client (in conjunction with our design engineers) to create a physical manifestation of the desired product or service. The goal is not to think about the properties of the final product but to allow the client to get direct, real life feedback from the field and to assist them in thinking about the product in a more tangible way. Problems with the final product may be spotted early on and prototyping helps in pinpointing problems that would only manifest themselves in the field. (Brown, 2008)


HUMANO: We will facilitate the prototyping process in a workshop day. The involved team from the client is invited to HUMANO’s offices where the team will be guided through the prototyping process by two of our consultants. The consultants are experts in the different types of methods that can be used for early prototyping (for example for service design or product design) and will assist the client in this process. The HUMANO consultants will additionally guide the client in defining what information the client wants to extract from early prototyping and help them in developing custom checklists and feedback sheets for effective evaluation of the prototype. The HUMANO consultants will also train and prepare the client on field-testing and how to go about this.

The Client: The client will participate in the active prototyping workshop and must decide what team they will send to participate. The client will then take the finished prototypes and tools and test their product in the field, gather information and feedback and document this for the purpose of the evaluation (the next step). HUMANO also offers a testing service if the client is not confident in or equipped for performing field research themselves.


HUMANO will provide the client with a working test prototype, custom testing checklists and feedback sheets and field-testing training including a field-testing plan. Alternatively, HUMANO can perform the field-testing themselves if this desired by the client.


Preparation and prototyping workshop: 2 days (1 prep, 1 workshop). Field-testing: strongly dependent on case.


0.4 FTE’s.

5. Evaluation & Reiteration


After having tested the product or service in the field, it is important to evaluate the information gathered and use it towards further developing the service or product. This iterative process is the final step before implementation of the finished solution. Dependent on the product or service, this could mean performing another creative session and prototyping round or perhaps simply tweaking the prototype or final design.


HUMANO:  After having completed the field testing and gathered information on the prototype HUMANO will assist the client in reiterating the creative session and prototyping steps. With extensive knowledge of these design processes the HUMANO consultants can decide, based on the delivered information to what extent and in what manner these last steps need to be repeated. This will differ strongly per case. To begin, HUMANO will conduct a debriefing. The client will deliver all the gathered information from the field-testing and HUMANO will analyze this information, visualize the outcome and create a customized plan for the optimization of the product or service.

 The Client: The client will deliver all the gathered information from field-testing. They will then receive their newly devised plan for optimization from the HUMANO consultants.


HUMANO will provide the client with a visualized analysis of the gathered field-testing information. The client will also receive a detailed plan for optimization of the product or service.


The analysis of the gathered information, visualization, and division of optimization plan will take up three working days for the consultants.


0.6 FTE’s.

6. Finalize



After having completed the evaluation and the optimization has been completed it is time to finalize the solution.


HUMANO: Once the optimization of the solution is completed the final proposal for the solution will be finalized by HUMANO design consultants. The extent of this process is strongly dependent on the type of problem that is being handled. HUMANO has an extensive network of manufacturers, web developers and engineers that they can refer the client to if the development of more complex tools are necessary (websites, applications, systems or products). HUMANO will assist the client in developing the final solution and developing an implementation plan.

 The Client: The client will participate in the finalization process, for this final step cooperation and integrating all facets of the clients organization in the implementation is essential. The client will participate in the finalization working meeting and will give input for the implementation plan.


HUMANO will provide the client with finalized solution to their problem and if necessary a recommendation and connection to one of HUMANO’s connections for further development. If further development is necessary, HUMANO will also provide the client with finalized (technical) documentation that is needed. Finally, the finalized solution will be delivered with an implementation plan.


This process is strongly dependent on the nature of the solution. It can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks.


0.4-2 FTE’s.


Boeijen, A. V., & Daalhuizen, J. (2010). Delft Design Guide. Delft, Netherlands: Faculteit Industrieel Ontwerpen.


Brown, T. (2008). Design thinking. Harvard business review, 86(6), 84.


Calabretta, G., Gemser, G., Wijnberg, N.M. & Hekkert, P.P.M., (2013). Collaborating with Design Consultancy Firms for Effective Strategic Decision-Making in New Product Development. Article in proceedings.

Calabretta, G., Gemser, G. & Hekkert, P., (2014). The Interplay Between Rationality and Intuition in Innovation Decision-making: A Study of Practices. Article in proceedings.

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