This report highlights how governments are leveraging innovation to broaden their scope of action and specifically address the needs of segments of society that are at risk of falling through the cracks or need additional support to achieve equitable outcomes. The report focuses on three key themes: (1) creating new beginnings for those who do not fit the typical personas of citizens and residents; (2) recognizing the plight and potential of rural communities, and activating them as agents for innovation; and (3) innovating to counteract challenges and poorer outcomes for those with disabilities by designing services that work for all.
The report provides case studies and examples of innovative solutions that governments have implemented to address these themes. For example, the Barefoot College International in India offers training to older women from rural communities in developing countries to learn how to construct, install and maintain solar home lighting systems. These basic engineering skills help them bring indoor lighting into their own homes and leverage solar energy to benefit their communities. Another example is the Video Chat and Sign Language for Inclusive Services in Georgia, where emergency services use video-calling with sign language interpreters to communicate with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
The report concludes by providing recommendations for governments to continue coming up with creative and impactful solutions to focus on the overlooked and take care of vulnerable and otherwise disadvantaged people. These recommendations include considering root causes and contributing factors, involving potentially impacted populations at all stages from design through to implementation and iteration, and ensuring ethical design in programs focusing on vulnerable populations. The report emphasizes the importance of addressing underlying issues and root causes of these issues and doing so hand-in-hand with those with lived experience of these challenges.
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