Impact of empowering women in rural areas through the Bindi Project

Impact of empowering women in rural areas through the Bindi Project

In January 2016, a DFA NYU  went for a research and prototyping trip to Tripureshwar (Kathmandu, Nepal) in the context of a winning idea that we were piloting with WHR. During that trip, we used a card sorting activity around safety and light (or lack of light) emerged as a major issue. We discussed with the women the options they currently had and while they were electrical poles nearby the slum, they could not have access to electricity because of their status as a slum. Some of them were trying to work on this but this was a very long-term issue.

In January, wanting to test their ideas in the field, master’s student Rajni Chada, sophomore Noah Geib, and master’s student Leslie Martinez set out for a 10-day trip to Nepal, accompanied by advisor Anne-Laure Fayard. Hosted by WHR, they worked with 36 women participating in the program in a slum of Kathmandu. The main aim of the trip was to develop a richer understanding of the context and women’s actual needs and, through light prototyping, test some of the assumptions underlying their ideas. The insights and feedback would help designing the next phases of the pilot as well as refine the toolkit for NGOs.

In 2015, Amplify designers conducted a prototyping workshop in New York with the Design for America team, who incorporated those learnings into two weeks of live prototyping with Women for Human Rights Nepal and other community organizations in the slum of Tripureshwar. Their prototypes, which they deployed in early 2016, included various forms of sexual and reproductive health workshops led by women, a video pen-pal system, and livelihood-generating activities. They found that women in Tripureshwar were excited to learn more and share what they knew with their communities.

Original stories appeared in OpenIDEO,, and NYU Tandon Press

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