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DIY Update: Turning interest into action

Theo Keane
Senior Programme Manager, Nesta

After the successful launch of the tookit in Mandarin, we’re announcing a new set of upcoming translations and asking for your help to build our case studies.


using the Problem Definition tool


More and more frequently we’re being asked to tell the story of the DIY toolkit. We’ve received interest from organisations that want to produce toolkits and practice guides of their own. Here on this blog we have written about the danger of becoming ‘just another toolkit’, but also the transformative potential of toolkits to bring together practitioners of both development and social innovation to experiment and share knowledge.


A success story

So why has DIY become a benchmark? When we launched the toolkit in March we weren’t too sure what the uptake would be, let alone what genuine success looked like. First off, Nesta hadn’t really developed a ‘product’ before, beyond a few publications and innovation mapping platforms. We also hadn’t engaged much with the international development sector at large, and development organisations hadn’t really embraced innovation at the same rate as organisations in the public, private and third sectors. There were many unknowns.

Yet after just eight months we’ve surpassed 250,000 hits. There is huge interest from the development sector in applying these tools and methods, so perhaps the needle is moving ever so slightly.


What’s happening now?


Over the past few months we’ve initiated a range a work streams to make the toolkit even more useful for practitioners operating in different situations and regions, including translation.

With the help of UN Volunteers, we’re cheap tramadol sales translating the toolkit into Russian, Arabic, and French. Spanish is underway, and a Mandarin version was unveiled by Nesta’s CEO Geoff Mulgan at the UN compound in Beijing in August. These translations will localise the toolkit and help non-native English speakers to apply innovation approaches to their work more readily.

We hope to have all of these core languages completed and published by the end of February 2015.


In the field

Following a series of workshops in Central and Eastern Europe this summer, we’ll on the road again over the next couple of months. We’ll be working with UNDP in Jordan, the British Council in Istanbul, and DFID in Delhi. We’re helping these organisations and their country offices to address specific issues by injecting innovation techniques into their responses and solutions. Beyond that, we’re helping them to take self-directive action on the challenges and opportunities that they face.


Turning interest into action

This blog post is also a call to action. We’re working to unearth stories of DIY tools being used in practice so that we can build a body of case studies to help us strengthen the toolkit, and to augment it with inspiring examples from the field.

If you’ve used one or a number of tools from the toolkit we’d love to hear from you. Please share your stories, both large and small, by emailing [email protected] or tweeting us via @DIYToolkit to express your interest in submitting a case study. We’ll then follow up and do the rest.


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  1. Franck


    I just want to know if you know when you will have finished to translate into french your wonderful toolkit ?
    I’m French and it should be more easy for me to use it and, perhaps, create my own company here in France. I think that design thinking could help a lot of littles companies.
    Thank you and congratulations for your work.