• Client: JICA & LIGHT-F
  • Year: 2019

How to improve the financial experience for female Pakistani home-based workers?

Design for independence.

Enable Pakistani female home-based workers and entrepreneurs to create their desired financial experience in a psychologically safe space, using LEGO® Serious Play(LSP) to build 3-dimensional models. Reflect and respect Muslim culture while capturing photos of models on smartphones and posting to a custom NUREVA Span™ digital collaborative canvas for discussion & design.


Commissioned by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and LIGHT-F, Australia’s Back2Back: Research & Design Founder, Dr. Jo’Anne Langham & Information Designer Beatrice McAlister, and DECIDIUM’s Chrystia Chudczak worked with 60 Karachi women from low-income & low-resource communities using design thinking techniques coupled with LEGO® Serious Play to re-imagine financial sustainability and independence. Taking place at the University of Karachi’s Institute for Business Administration (IBA), a culturally safe bilingual environment (Urdu & English) was created enabling 20 inter-generational female-based home workers, living in the Baldia & Maripur Karachi neighbourhoods, to build LEGO® models depicting current financial challenges.  The women unpacked their current & desired relationship to money, family & business finances. A custom built NUREVA Span™ digital collaborative canvas was used by participants to photograph and post images of personal and group models builds in real-time to document and share.  Scene-It, a design tool customized for the Pakistani cultural environment by Back2Back, and ethnographic field research, were conducted and compared with LEGO® Serious Play in order to understand how these design techniques contributed to further developing human-centric research and design. Insights gathered were used to develop a paper prototype digital financial services application for a Pakistani financial start-up.

Project was presented at the virtual dmi: Academic Design Management Conference August 5-6, 2020 at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada.


“The experience of LEGO Serious Play session delivered by Chrystia was magical. We have been working to support low income women who are doing home-based work in poor neighbourhoods in Pakistan for the past 2 years. Since we sought solutions to address their challenges, we invited the B2B team to organize a workshop to identify the needs and design solutions. LEGO Serious Play session was used as part of these design thinking activities. In the beginning, I had my doubts about using LEGO in the workshop, but it turned out to be my big surprise. It serves as a great tool for getting their deep insights through facilitating effective dialogue among participants who are normally not allowed to speak up their opinions. We could discover more about their reality in the few day session than our 2 year conversation with them. It was extremely powerful and eye-opening exercise to understand their needs very vividly. Based on the results of the workshop, we are currently developing a digital financial app to cater to the needs of those women in collaboration with a digital financial company. We appreciate Chrystia very much for providing such a great professional service with passion, energy and smile. We very much enjoyed it!”

Chiyo Mamiya, Chief Advisor, Project for Improvement of Livelihoods and Well-being of Female Home-Based Workers in the Informal Economic Sector in Sindh Province, Pakistan (Light-F), funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
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