Save the Children India


A whole organization inspired by design






Service Design

Feb, 2017


Understanding and redefining the organizational workflow for STCI & developing innovation capabilities in the team to increase the impact and scale of their programs were our two focus areas for the project


By empathizing with the user, STCI developed clarity on the value & experience they wished to deliver and changed their approach. Also, STCI members understood other roles in the organization which resulted in increased cross functional collaboration.


Program Design, Learning Journey, Customer Experience Design

Save The Children India is a non-profit organization established in 1988, working towards preventing sexual exploitation of vulnerable women and children, and empowering them to lead an independent life. 

The organization offers following services

  • prevent human trafficking (rural and urban) by empowering them with vocational skills to get employed 
  • shelter, protection and prosecution support for the rescued 
  • policy advocacy

For example for urban prevention: STCI has community centers in 8 of urban migrant slums in Mumbai  in neighborhoods such as Ghatkopar, Turbhe, Airoli, Mankhurd etc. to help prevent women from being trafficked by reducing vulnerability factors such as lack of opportunities, livelihoods, gender discrimination through vocational skill training and job placement support. The training programs include short 4 month courses like beauty and hospitality offered at minimal rates.

TinkerLabs Approach: let ideas bubble up from the community

The project unfolded as a unique learning journey engagement with the STCI team. Hearing out the team through their unique stories and experiences, we built a detailed understanding of the organization and strategically divided the project into four subsets:

  • Urban Prevention
  • Rural Prevention
  • Advocacy
  • Prosecution

We divided the team into groups of 8-10, ensuring a dynamic mix of members from different departments within the organization; and a dedicated TinkerLabs facilitator for each team. Every team owned one problem area and worked towards the final solution over a period of 2 months.

What happened on ground:

We kick started with well-planned research activities spread across Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Sangli (STCI majorly operates from these major centers). We prepared detailed research guides for every team and divided the work across the team because the number of stakeholders involved was huge and we had to cover all the geographies in a short span of time. The research included speaking to varied stakeholders like the on-ground mobilizers, trainers, rescued girls, girls employed through STCI programs, their parents, lawyers, public prosecutors, the rescue team, the counsellors, the shelter home teams, etc.  
Building upon the research insights, brainstorming sessions were structured leading to large buckets of ideas. These ideas were then prioritized based on the overall impact on the system at large and taken ahead to prototype. The teams went back to the users with these prototypes, tested them and captured their feedbacks. Prototypes were in the form of posters, campaigns, videos, meetings which could be built and tested quickly. Ranging from process hacks like communication collaterals, space revamp, information channels, and information repository/website to softer emotional forms like community meetings for fathers, welcome gifts for the newly joined government officials and capturing stories from successful employed girls. There were clear directions towards implementation of ideas that worked well.

We concluded with the final workshop by laying out

  • some of the next steps for these prototypes to be improved and scaled across centers
  • strategic planning guidelines for STCI for the upcoming year.  

What did we achieve:

We built a culture of easy switch/to and fro between “what the user wants/feels”to “going back to the process/service” and working forward from there. We walked the journey with the internal team in identifying and prototyping both the a) quick fixes and b) larger strategic directional changes. Presently, the STCI team is working on scaling these solutions to the real scenarios.

We made the team experience and believe that change making is not a big deal if the user is understood well!

Highlight of the project:

STCI has become one of the most interesting fields of research for us in the social impact space, where we learned and developed our understanding towards social issues in India today. Interestingly, empathy was an inherent quality of every member in this organization (our discovery) because of the unique set of users that they cater to; which fast-paced the project. Also, this was one of the first engagements of TinkerLabs with a project where all the communication was carried out in Hindi; which makes us the first company in India to create Design Thinking content and collaterals in Hindi.


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