Innovation Labs in Somali Regionandrewteaching

We have launched a new branch office called Desert Rose Labs in Jigjiga, Somali Region of Ethiopia. The focus of this branch office will be crowd-sourced innovation for Somali Region. As many of our projects and programmes are aimed at bringing innovative solutions to Somali Region, Desert Rose Labs enables us to function in context, listen to local experiences and partner with local innovators to bring local solutions to local problems.

We will be bringing the human-centred design process to the community through innovative and sustainable solutions as well as coaching the region’s change-makers as they seek to tackle local problems. The new Jigjiga office gives Desert Rose a pivotal new hub from which to deepen its partnerships and field expertise in the region, as well as effectively taking forward new contracts.

Andrew and Thomas have spent some time at the Technical and Vocational College and Capacity Building Bureau, kickstarting the partnership by delivering some innovation and leadership workshops.

“We spent a morning with the Jigjiga Technical Vocational Education Training College, giving them a flavour of the mentoring relationship that we will be developing.

We see a need for moving Jigjiga’s climate of innovation away from simply ‘having bright ideas’ and more towards designing things that people really want and solve a local problem.

We led participants through a starter exercise that got them thinking about being customer focused. Using a selection of shoes from the local market, we discussed the good and bad points of each and framed a ‘problem statement’ that would be necessary if one wanted to design an ideal shoe for a camel herder.

The exercise generated a lot of interest and will help to fuel discussions with the College as we begin to develop a partnership.”

Andrew, Desert Rose Consultant