Design Thinking sessions for short course development agri-business Uganda

Design Thinking in Uganda
Design Thinking in Uganda

06 April 2021

After a week full of workshops for occupational standard development together with successful agri-entrepreneurs, it was time to unite the teachers of the five vocational training institutes.

From 22 to 25 March, we facilitated Design Thinking workshops with teaching staff from ADRAA Agricultural College, Amelo Technical Institute, Arua Technical Institute, Moyo Technical Institute, and Koboko Technical Institute. The goal: developing an informal short-course for agri-business.

The Design Thinking method

Design Thinking has been used by CINOP as a method to generate solutions for complex issues in education and the labour market that are supported by all stakeholders involved.

By walking through the various elements of the design thinking method, the entrepreneurs and teachers found solutions for among others the following questions:

  • How can an agri-business course be beneficial for both Ugandan and refugee youth?
  • What content and learning forms should be incorporated in the course to prepare students for starting-up their own agri-business?

An impression of the sessions

During the first ‘empathize’ session, the teachers put themselves in the shoes of their students. They brought their fictional personas John, Jennifer, Humphrey and Sarah alive, including their behaviour, situation, needs and expectations. This activity was especially relevant for understanding the different needs of host community versus refugee youth, and male versus female youth in an educational program.



In subsequent sessions, teachers designed the types of content and learning formats that best met the needs of different types of students. Together with the information of the successful entrepreneurs, these designs form the basis of the short course. Participants were encouraged to think big, and not limit their ideas to the practical possibilities.

Checking the practical feasibility of the ideas was the next step. Teachers created ‘prototype’ two-hour lessons plans that will be tested in the coming weeks. Step by step, the agri-business short course is being formed, checked, and adapted until it has taken its ideal shape for both teachers and students.

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