A360 MTR Spotlight 2: The A360 experience of Human Centered Design

Adolescents 360 (A360) is a four-year, $30 million initiative (2016 – 2020) to increase adolescent girls’ access to and demand for modern contraception in developing countries, beginning with Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania.  The project is implemented by a Population Services International (PSI)-led consortium and co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. Itad is working in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Avenir Health to independently evaluate and distil lessons from A360. This brief draws out lessons from the Mid-Term Review on the A360 experience of Human-Centered Design.

Despite growing interest and investment in Human-Centered Design (HCD), there are few rigorous evaluations of the impact of HCD interventions in public health.[i] Early evidence includes a theory-based evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s strategy to apply HCD in family planning and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in Sub-Saharan Africa. This concludes that interventions using HCD in Kenya and Zambia resulted increased access to SRH and family planning services for adolescent girls, although found ‘less evidence of its ability to design sustainable solutions quickly at scale.’[ii]

While it is too early for the A360 evaluation to determine the impact of the interventions developed using HCD, the approach has been widely valued for placing the adolescent girls at the centre of design and shifting ways of working. There is some valuable learning from A360 for those applying HCD in other projects.

Read more from the Mid-Term Review:

Spotlight 1: Lessons from evaluating A360
Spotlight 3: Meaningful Youth Engagement
Spotlight 4: Service providers – the battle to serve

Find the full Mid-Term Review here and a short visual summary here.


[i] See Bazzano, A.N., Martin, J., Hicks, E., Faughnan, M., Murphy, L. (2017) Human-centred design in global health: A scoping review of applications and contexts. PLoS One. 12 (11).

[ii] See Calder, R., Shorten, T., Wallach, S., Cooper, J., Mulhern, E. (2017). Evaluation of The Hewlett Foundation’s Strategy to Apply Human-Centred Design to Improve Family Planning and Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Itad. [Link]