Masterclass on Designing Joint Solutions For Digital Vulnerabilities in Georgia


On October 4-7, 2022, IDFI and the e-Governance Academy (Estonia) held 1.5-day interactive masterclasses for civil society organisations (CSOs) and public institutions, to collaborate and design proposals to address the challenges digitally vulnerable citizens are encountering in Georgia.


Two 1.5-day masterclasses provided an introduction to a project/service/initiative/policy idea design and the theory behind the methodology.


The framework is based on learning-by-doing, which means that each participating team will use the tools and methods during the masterclass to work on their team challenges.


Although the masterclass itself is limited in time, the tools and methods can immediately be applied in real-world contexts, used as a foundation for developing and delivering solutions to real people. Moreover, these new skills, tools and methods can be used for any other service, project, initiative, policy idea or task the folks are dealing with in the future.


The masterclasses were led by Margus Klaar from Brand Manual. Margus has 30 years strategic marketing experience and more than ten just focusing on service design with CSOs, businesses and public institutions. He’s a frequent speaker at business and service design conferences, author of numerous articles and books on service design including “How to have your cake and eat it too”.


During this 1.5 day masterclass, the participants were putting themselves in the shoes and minds of different stakeholders, identifying the main user groups and end-users, and identifying potential root-causes of their challenges. As Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”


The participants of the first masterclass said that the coolest thing they learned was “understanding the design thinking system and internal connections”. It is important to be creative and “try and see the world from your beneficiaries perspective” – although logical, we often forget that. “Doing observation and research and thinking more of what is a problem before actually seeking for solutions” was the key commitment that many teams made as a result of the masterclass.


“One of the coolest masterclasses!” and “Thank you for making us think hard and conceptualize fast!” were the most heart-warming feedback for the team of eGA, IDFI and Margus Klaar. 


The masterclasses are part of the DRIVE: Digital Research and Impact for Vulnerable E-citizens - e-Governance Academy ( project that aims for public authorities and civil society organisations to be aware of the digitally vulnerable groups and their needs, and have improved skills to engage people and prevent the digital divide (further).


In the DRIVE context, we define Digitally Vulnerable Groups as those whose digital engagement in political decision-making and e-services is hindered by their lack of awareness of digital issues, access to technological benefits, and/or digital literacy and skills.


The content was based on the recommendations from the report on digitally vulnerable groups in Georgia that was done in January 2022. The DRIVE project is supported by a grant from Luminate.


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