BackgroundYoung people in low- and middle-income countries are often neglected in designing youth-friendly health services, especially HIV testing and preventive services. Designathons, which are time-bounded co-creation events where individuals gather in teams to develop solutions to a problem, could promote youth participation and ownership of health services.
ObjectiveThe purpose of this study is to examine youth participation in a designathon to create youth-friendly health services in Nigeria.
MethodsOur designathon was based on crowdsourcing principles and informed by a human-centered design approach. The designathon included an open call for Nigerian youths between 14 and 24 years to share ideas on how to promote uptake of HIV self-testing services and a three-day sprint event that brought together diverse teams to develop strategies enhancing linkage to care. Teams pitched their solutions to a panel of five independent experts who scored ideas based on the desirability, feasibility, potential impact, and teamwork. We used descriptive statistics to summarize participants' demographics and conducted a content analysis to synthesize themes from youth proposals.
ResultsNine hundred seventy-six youth across Nigeria applied to join the designathon. Forty-eight youth in 13 teams participated in the designathon with a median age of 20 years (IQR: 17-22]. Boys and young men were 48.5% (446/919) of the total applicants, 62.5% (30/48) of the designathon participants, and 63.6% (7/11) of the finalists. Students, from all educational levels, represented 91.2% (841/922) of the total applicants, 88.4% (38/43) of the designathon participants, and 90.0% (9/10) of the finalists. About twenty-three percent (3/13) of the final proposals were top ranked. The three finalist approaches to optimize youth-friendly health services centered on decentralizing service delivery to young people through mobile health technologies, use of mobile tents, or peer support services.
ConclusionsOur open call engaged diverse groups of Nigerian youth, including young women and students. Our data suggest that designathons may be useful for developing tailored youth-friendly health services. Further research is needed to understand the designathon process and the effectiveness of the finalist submissions.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC8676684 | BioStudies |