A Design Sprint with a Mission

Rapid prototyping for financial inclusion

Working with GRID Impact and BRAC to lead a two-week design sprint focused on increasing uptake and usage of mobile money amongst women in rural Bangladesh.

GRID Impact
My Role
Sprint Facilitation

Training Staff on Design Methodology while Prototyping in Rural Bangladesh

BRAC is a Bangladeshi development organization that has become the world’s largest NGO with more than 115,000 employees in 10 countries. In 2015, the Social Innovation Lab at BRAC invited GRID Impact to lead a two week design sprint at its headquarters in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BRAC's Social Innovation Lab has created the Innovation Fund for Mobile Money which aims to increase innovation by seeding a diverse set of projects that prepare BRAC to adopt mobile money at scale.

The design sprint had two primary objectives:

  • Build capacity in BRAC's ability to apply design thinking to their work in the Social Innovation Lab by giving them hands on experience with human-centered design methods.
  • Uncover insights and prototype solutions that lead to uptake in the adoption of mobile money amongst women in rural Bangladesh.
A workshop participant demonstrates mobile money to BRAC clients during the design sprint's Discovery phase.
The Challenge

Increasing Uptake and Usage of Mobile Money

Over the course of two weeks, GRID Impact guided a group of 20 BRAC staff through a human-centered design process including problem definition, user research, synthesis, concept development and prototype testing. The participants applied these methods to better understand their client's behaviors around mobile money and to identify new opportunities for products and services that would increase uptake and usage of mobile money accounts amongst women in rural Bangladesh.

After identifying key opportunities and ideating a range of potential solutions, GRID Impact led the group through a round of iterative prototyping. Each participant had the opportunity to create low-fidelity prototypes of their service concepts and test those prototype in the field with BRAC clients.

The teams from BRAC pitched five final prototypes which had been tested in the field and iterated based on feedback from BRAC clients. Concepts included:

  • Mobile money and financial education heuristics delivered via rhyming audio messages
  • Re-designed enrollment forms and "Family Wallet" accounts that allow a husband to easily enroll their wife and other female household members
  • Empowering women to be community resources called "Mobile Apas" who can help enroll and support other women in the community
  • Empowering women to become mobile money agents by building kiosks in or near them family home
Workshop participants pose for a team photo after presenting their final prototypes.
My Role


I was a co-lead for the design sprint along with Alexandra Fiorillo from GRID Impact.

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