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Defining the characteristics of future users for ‘sports for social inclusion’

Andreas Karpati
UNDP Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan

Community Outreach Specialist (Community Outreach / Education)

Target group and personas worksheets filled by the workshop participants

Problem

Development Fund of Children’s Sport Under the Ministry of Public Education in Uzbekistan was concerned that despite a large-scale investment programme into sports complexes, the use of these facilities has been below expectations, especially outside Tashkent (the capital of Uzbekistan).

The Children’s Sports Fund is particularly concerned about the participation of girls from rural areas in sports, who often miss out on the benefits of doing sports due to a lack of parental awareness, encouragement or even permission. So, despite major investments into infrastructure and programmes guaranteeing free access to sports facilities, how do we get people to use the facilities?

 

Why we used the tool

We organised a workshop on social innovation with young citizens – students from a local partner university, focused on the ‘sport for social inclusion’. Promising project proposals that come out of this, were eligible to be considered for a small grant award of up to $1,500. While making these project proposals, we used a number of tools such as Target Group, Personas to think about the users and Problem Definition, Causes Diagram to think about possible problems and solutions.

The tools were chosen along three main criteria:

  1. suitability for small-scale volunteer project without commercial elements
  2. applicable for early, pre-prototyping stage of social innovation process (emphasis on ideation, problem definition, working out users)
  3. can be carried out in less than an hour in a classroom/workshop setting

 

How we used the tool

The Target Group and Personas tools were helpful in making the students think about the detailed characteristics of their future users. They often talked about ‘heads of traditional families’ for example, but the tools helped them to anchor such generalisations in concrete characteristics: where are they to be found, what do they do on an average day, what concrete values do they hold, what media do they consume, what is their relationship with modern technology. We used this tool to highlight the characteristics of  our target customers by ‘putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes.’

 

Results of using the tool

We realised that no problem can be solved without taking into consideration the personality of people, their needs and  and holistic picture of their lives.

 

Tips for other people

  • It is better not to concentrate on one type of personality  for the Personas tool and instead create multiple Personas, because the problem can cover different social groups.
  • Its wise to prepare and collect some data before using the Target your Audience tools in a workshop setting.

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