Empowering young girls to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and to promote gender equality is part of Plan International’s global goals. Butterfly Works was asked to lead a design research process, together with Plan Finland and the Plan Laos team, local partners, government officials, teachers, students and out-of-school youth to understand the SRH context and to identify opportunities for the development of SRH resources for young people in Laos.
We facilitated design research activities remotely in an activity where young people in Laos became researchers of their own lives called an Exploration Lab. The youth kept daily diaries, took photos of moments or objects that represented security, fun and responsibility and they visualised their ideal futures. They offered very personal and insightful perspectives into how youth perceive their community and their role within it. Our findings offered insights into areas like the health and education landscape around sexual and reproductive health and explored challenges and opportunities that young people face in accessing and sharing sensitive information.
The Exploration Lab is a format developed by Butterfly Works and is truly participatory design research. Exploration Labs are carried out by end users and stakeholders themselves by looking at their own experiences. The Exploration Lab has the aim to listen, see and be open to find new angles to build innovative solutions. It uses storytelling and visualisation methods to ensure the outcome is of a high quality and engaging. Through an exploration lab the users themselves gain new insights into their own lives and experiences.