– Mody Ndiaye, a firm believer in Equipop Labs
Mody Ndiaye is Program Director for Jeunesse et Développement (Youth and Development).
In what ways was the Equipop Lab in Dakar that incubated the Change Lab Project participatory and adaptable?
The method used to incubate the Change Lab Project in Senegal was participatory, adapt–able, inclusive, democratic, and met all the criteria for mutual accountability. Designed by Equipop and Alliance Droits et Santé mem-bers, Equipop Labs aim to foster political, strategic, and structural changes favorable to SRHR on a regional basis. The Labs also work on a national level for each alliance member’s country, according to its context, priorities, and specific challenges, all in perfect har–mony. The Change Lab Project incubation in Senegal was preceded by an ideation session, where we tried to improve our understanding of the challenges facing reproductive health and family planning (SR/FP) for the well-being of adolescents and youth. All types of actors were involved: state and local offi–cials, businesspeople, CSOs, community and opinion leaders, the otherwise excluded, and so on. Strengthening civil society’s ability to raise domestic funding for SR/FP emerged as a priority. A call for a show of interest and a transparent mechanism were put in place in order to select one consortium of CSOs per country. The Lab mobilized everyone toward developing a country-specific project. This method, praised by almost all participants, is suitable because it promotes multiple forms of expression; it also ensures account–ability between Equipop, Alliance Droits et Santé members, and stakeholders. Such an approach should serve as an inspiration to other consortia or networks that have the same challenges.
What is your best memory from the Equipop Labs?
My best memory centers on the prototyp–ing and storyboarding phase, when we were designing the project using a change-oriented approach. I felt like I was in preschool during the incubation Lab. As a trainer, the approach inspired me to review and modify my tools. Such an approach makes a paradigm change possible; it also allows us to predict our actions’ impact on various partners. For the record, prototyping has become a hobby for me when I am at home with my children: we will prototype our house together.
How is the Change Lab Project innovative and promising for the Alliance in Senegal?
The project touches on a complex and difficult area: the mobilization of domestic resources to finance RH/FP. We used a clearly defined vision of a desired future in order to design the project, which relies on tools and meth–ods that are still not widely used in our environment, such as design thinking, e-cam–paigns on social networks, hackathons, and gala dinners. We aim to highlight private sector companies that champion RH/FP; we also want to incubate projects co-financed by the private sector and local authorities. The Change Lab Project, designed by all types of actors with Equipop’s high-quality support, will add value to our efforts to raise funds for family planning.