The elevation and empowerment of community voices via human-centered design methods: Lessons from the Family Independence Initiative

Session Number: 2499
Track: Collaborative, Participatory & Empowerment Evaluation
Session Type: Skill-Building Workshop
Tags: community change, Community-Engaged Research
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Amy L. Ramos [Research Associate - Harder+Company Community Research]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Cristina Magana [Director - Harder+Company Community Research]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Diana D. McDonnell [Research Consultant - Harder+Company Community Research]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (05:45 PM - 06:45 PM)
Room: CC - 24

Other Authors: Mildred Ferrer (
Jorge Blandón (
David Henderson <>
Audience Level: Intermediate

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Human-centered design helps evaluators gain a deep understanding about not only what individuals want and desire, but also what limitations they face, what motivates them, and what they value most. Human-centered design approaches are strengths based and orient evaluators to engage from a point of humility, viewing the community as the experts about their own assets and needs. This orientation moves the evaluator from an external expert to an empathic observer. Our workshop aligns with this year’s conference theme “Speaking Truth to Power” by showcasing Family Independence Initiative, which aims to change the narrative and course of low income and often marginalized families by building individual and community. Human-centered design methods to elevate the voices, through our evaluation methods, of those that are traditionally marginalized. Workshop attendees will gain an understanding of human-centered design and receive hands-on experience on the application of this approach.