05 - NGO staff

Engagement and participation in activities aimed at low-skilled migrant women

This NGO has 10 employees, including social educators, social workers and psychologists, as well as 50 volunteers. It has at its disposal a building with its own facilities and its main objectives are to fight for equal participation and empowerment of vulnerable groups, mainly migrants. They are also responsible for carrying out actions in favor of human rights, equity and diversity. The main weakness of the staff of this organization is their inexperience and the scarcity of tools to favor the labor inclusion of the groups they serve, especially in the case of migrant women, whose unemployment rate is 95%.


Put on the other person's shoes and walk around in them for a while!

This phase is aimed at sharing and understanding the needs and opinions of all members of the organization, as well as those of the migrant women with whom they work. In addition, it is intended to evaluate the initial level of the competencies to be developed during the Design Thinking (DT) process.


In this first phase, a meeting is organized, attended by all the members of the NGO, in order to carry out a Discussion group. The NGO coordinator proposes questions such as: What are the main difficulties in the labor inclusion of migrant women, how is the organization intervening, what aspects should be improved in the organization to favor this inclusion?

Once the meeting is over, the information is reviewed on the basis of a Qualitative analysis:

Now the people of the NGO must assess this phase based on the Evaluation thermometers.
The report should indicate the openness shown by the team, whether the time spent in this phase has been adequate, as well as the degree of satisfaction with the information obtained. Individually, each person evaluates the team’s performance and an average of the scores obtained by all members is obtained. The average of the results reflects a favorable evaluation (in all thermometers the minimum score of 3 out of 5 is exceeded in order to pass to the next phase).

Time spent

Given that the people in the NGO have achieved an adequate level of empathy, it is time to proceed with the initial competency assessment. The evaluation tools used collectively with the members are: the Creative Imagination Test for Adults (PIC-A) and the CREA. A successive order of intervention is followed so that all members participate collectively in the creation of ideas. Test results indicate that members are able to produce multiple ideas (10 in total) but do not present different categories to a situation.


What are your day-to-day challenges? Define them and prioritize them to begin to address them.

This phase is aimed at improving the ability of the organization’s staff to identify problems and needs and to define them in a concrete way.


In order to define the challenge to be addressed, the results obtained in the qualitative analysis are commented on so that, based on a formula (Description of the NGO+ NEED +NEED +WHY+ situation of the group), each participant carries out his or her own interpretation of the challenge to be faced. Once the different responses have been obtained, all the members create a single proposal. The jointly defined challenge is:

Challenge 1

The members of this NGO NEED to understand the main challenges faced by immigrant women in accessing the labor market BECAUSE they want to favor the socio-labor inclusion and employability of these women.

At the end of this phase, using the Evaluation thermometers.
In order to improve their capabilities, all members of the organization reflect on the improvement of their capabilities to explore needs, define them concretely and prioritize them. Again, the average score obtained in each of the thermometers is calculated.

Specific definition/
requirements operation
Identification of
different needs
Decision making

Despite obtaining a negative score (less than 3 out of 5) on one of the thermometers, the members jointly decide to continue the DT process and move on to the next phase. Despite having identified a single need, they are clear that this is the challenge they want to address first and foremost within their institution.


The creative phase par excellence begins. Let's imagine solutions!


Based on the previously selected challenge (Members of the NGO NEEDED understand the main challenges faced by immigrant women in accessing the labor market WHY want to promote the social and labor inclusion and employability of these women.), the activity is carried out Chained ideas in order to obtain ideas that can solve the challenge posed. Some of the ideas contributed by the team are:

  • Idea 1

    Establish agreements with companies in different sectors that can offer paid internships to migrant women.

  • Idea 2

    To prepare and empower migrant women for a job interview through real simulations.

  • Idea 3

    Offer job training courses that may be of interest to migrant women by applying a previous survey.

  • Idea 4

    Propose discussions with different women from different cultures who have overcome a similar situation and are currently in the labor market.

  • Idea 5

    Create preparation groups for specific jobs of interest to migrant women.

  • Idea 6

    Offer training in the language and vocabulary required for a specific position.

Each of the ideas is evaluated by teams through the tool Devil’s Advocate.
The following results are obtained:

  • Idea 1

    It is difficult to find companies willing to enter into this type of agreement.

  • Idea 2

    There is fear on the part of some women when it comes to job interviews.

  • Idea 3

    The real interests of women should be identified through surveys. In addition, the courses that have been offered so far have not been well attended.

  • Idea 4

    They must get the commitment of women of recognized excellence who want to participate in this type of colloquium.

  • Idea 5

    In the case of large groups, they have financial difficulties to hire specialized personnel.

  • Idea 6

    The low academic level and low motivation of women makes it difficult for them to participate in language training activities.

The procedure of analyzing the unfavorable aspects of each of the ideas has allowed the NGO members to understand and train a systematized procedure for making informed decisions.

Finally and by consensus, the proposal selected for implementation results from the combination of ideas 2, 5 and 6, so that it is jointly decided to “Create preparation groups for different specific positions in which job interviews are prepared and comprehensive job training is offered”.

Based on the evaluation of this phase, the people of the organization assess the Evaluation thermometersThe following are measured: the number of ideas proposed (fluency of ideas), the variety or diversity of ideas (flexibility of categories) and, without using a thermometer, the degree of personalization of ideas according to the idiosyncrasy of the NGO itself (originality).

In order to evaluate the fluency and flexibility indicators, the following criteria are applied to the thermometers: the number of ideas (rated from 1 to 5) and the different response categories proposed (rated from 1 to 5, so that if more than 5 alternatives are offered, the score of 5 is maintained). In terms of originality, NGO members comment on and take into account the level of personalization of the proposal as a criterion.


The scores obtained on the thermometers indicate that the NGO members are ready to move to the next phase of the DT process by submitting more than 5 ideas related to 4 different categories. In addition, the ideas proposed are customized and adapted to the real context of the NGO itself.


Now it is time to specify and organize the action plan to be followed.


Before starting to develop the idea in the real context, a prototype is elaborated to represent the action plan. To this end, the members of the NGO are meeting once again to draw up an Mental map in which the steps to follow to carry out your idea are represented. All members offer their opinion on the process to be followed and discuss the improvements that could be included.

At the end of this phase, the members must evaluate the capabilities that were intended to be developed in this phase: identify all the significant elements that make it possible to solve the challenge, propose an appropriate time sequence and precisely define the steps to be followed.

Identify significant elements
Appropriate time sequence
Define steps precisely

Despite not including a large number of details in the mind map, the NGO passes to the final phase of the DT process, given that the average scores on the three thermometers equal or exceed 3 points out of 5.


It is time for start-up. Lights, camera and action!


In this last phase, the plan is implemented and the programmed actions are executed:

Following the plan, first a coordinator is chosen to carry out the previously prototyped idea. Once selected, the work team splits up to arrange meetings with all the migrant women and understand the challenges they face in their labor inclusion process. Based on the information gathered, different workshops are created according to needs and interests:

  • Workshop 1

    Development of psychosocial skills such as leadership and teamwork.

  • Workshop 2

    Vocabulary specific to different work sectors.

  • Workshop 3

    Preparing for a job interview.

For the delivery of the workshops, the collaboration of volunteers with specific training in each field is requested. All the women attend the different training workshops offered.

The methodology used during the workshops is practical, using real problem solving to increase motivation and adherence to the process. In addition, the level of attendance was satisfactory (75% attendance) and the women valued the skills acquired in the workshops as useful resources for their future employment.

The evaluation of this last phase is carried out in a final Final meeting among the different members of the NGO. This allows for collective reflection on the implementation of the prototype following the planned plan, taking into account criteria such as: resolution of difficulties by the NGO team members during the process, ability to adapt to unforeseen events, autonomy of volunteers and professionals to carry out the plan, and level of achievement of the challenge posed. The members acknowledge the great work done to carry out the previously designed prototype, with special emphasis on the importance of collaboration among all of them in order to achieve success.

Final evaluation

To conclude... How much progress we have made!


The final moments of the process are oriented towards making visible the improvement of the NGO members’ functioning as a team using the DT methodology, as well as the different competencies related to the problem solving process. For this purpose, the evaluation instruments used in session 3 (CREA and PIC-A). The data obtained provides objective evidence that helps the members of the organization become more aware of their improvement in exploring needs, making decisions, seeking alternative solutions, planning and organizing, so that higher scores are derived from this final assessment in terms of providing different categories of response to a given situation.

The information obtained through objective tests is completed by means of a Focus Group.
The information obtained through objective evidence is completed by means of a focus group in which all members of the NGO team participate and different questions are asked: has cohesion and team perception increased, are we able to generate more and better ideas together, and are we able to generate more and better ideas together, and if so, how?his way of working is more fun and satisfying than what we were doing? o Which phase and which activity has caused the most/least difficulties? NGO members value positively the use of this methodology, recognizing the need to incorporate it into their organization as an internal operating model. Thus, once internalized by all members, the DT process would be “taught” to the different groups with which they intervene.

In order to evaluate the correct acquisition, internalization and understanding of the DT methodology by the members of the NGO, we also use the following games Design Thinking. Turn your problems into solutions.