Coventry University Disaster Management students learn about school feeding in emergencies

Drawing on our experience with designing school feeding programmes, and developing the global programme guidance for WFP school feeding, ImpactReady recently ran a scenario for undergraduate students on the disaster management course at Coventry University. The half-day course featured a live design exercise based on real-time information about the ongoing emergency in the Sahel, with a focus on Mali. Students undertook mini-design projects that combined research tools (including Reliefweb, Humanitarian Response website, and FEWSnet) with human-centred design techniques and school feeding programme guidance.

The exercise was organised around the five-stage CHILD design heuristic developed by ImpactReady and the CHILD Trust. The five stages are:

  1. Challenge: the analysis of the problematic situation that we want to do something about.
  2. Hope: the vision for a new situation that we want to realise in the future. Together, the Challenge and Hope stages constitute the argument for WHY we are intending to do something.
  3. Ideas: an ideation stage that draws on creative techniques to generate as many options as possible that may allow us to move from the challenging situation to our vision for the future.
  4. Leadership: the process of identifying a single (or combined) option to take forward. Leadership revolves around the questions of “what is needed here?” and “why is this idea not already happening, and, therefore, what do we need to bring to the situation?”. Together, the Ideas and Leadership stages identify WHAT we intend to do.
  5. Delivery: our detailed plan on HOW we are going to deliver the strategic actions we have identified. This planning stage is often the ‘default mode’ for organisations when they start looking at problems, rather than the final step in a strategic process.

Using the CHILD framework and design personas, the students worked in cluster to develop ideas for how school feeding could be used in the context of Mali. This considered aspects of the response including food security, nutrition, education, protection, gender, access, water and sanitation, and livelihoods. The students also considered how the emergency response could be designed to contribute to the long term resilience of displaced people.

WFP, the UN food assistance agency, has produced this video explaining what they are actually doing in Mali to support education through school feeding.

You can donate to support WFP’s efforts in Mali, or other emergencies, on the website.