05. Prototyping

Participants and Mentors

It’s time to delve into prototyping.
In DevPolHack, we’ve crafted a sequence of three straightforward steps to guide a group through the prototyping process. Nevertheless, there are many additional steps and tools available for use.

Now that you’ve settled on your chosen idea, let’s delve into the intricacies of its development, prototyping, testing, and fine-tuning! Throughout the prototyping phase, you’ll benefit from the guidance of experienced mentors who will play a pivotal role in propelling your project forward. Games present an ideal starting point for our prototyping sessions, providing an engaging and interactive platform. Your active participation in this process is highly encouraged.

This will be the point where the mentors play an important role. Make sure to brief them and remind them of the time to connect and how they can serve the group best. In DevPolHack, we have designed a selection of three simple steps that lead a group through prototyping. However, there are many more steps and tools that can be used

At this point, it is crucial to address the question: ‘Who possesses the authority to bring about the change we aspire to see?’ Alternatively, phrased differently: ‘Who holds the power to resolve the issue by initiating the desired solution?’ The Influence Tree tool is designed to assist you in pinpointing your primary target group and guiding your considerations on the diverse avenues you and your partners can explore to connect with this target audience. In the event that one approach proves ineffective, having alternative routes is essential. Embrace creativity by experimenting with different methods and approaches to engage and persuade your target groups effectively.

This section aims to familiarize you with a broad spectrum of advocacy methods, aiding in the selection of the most suitable ones. Additionally, it delves into a few methods in greater detail, offering strategic insights on how to seamlessly integrate them into your overall advocacy strategy.

Mentors will provide guidance and support to assist you.

How will your narrative of change unfold? What sequence of actions and reactions will culminate in the desired transformation? A meticulously structured Theory of Change not only provides clarity on the what, when, and why of your actions but also equips you with a compelling narrative.

This narrative becomes a powerful tool to not only articulate your strategy but also to persuade others to support your cause, as it weaves a persuasive and impactful story of change.

This section serves as a guide to transform your analysis into a strategic action plan, essentially assisting you in crafting your Theory of Change.

Mentors will provide guidance and support to assist you.

Think of your Theory of Change as a screenplay for a movie, encompassing the entire narrative and illustrating how each scene unfolds. Similar to a film, it’s crucial to understand not just the storyline but also the roles of each participant at different points. Given that your organization may not be the sole advocate, it’s likely that you’ll collaborate with partners and allies, or perhaps play a facilitating and supportive role in advocacy efforts led by others.

In the subsequent phase, develop your Action Plan incorporating all additional necessary details.

Mentors will provide guidance and support to assist you.

01. Sketch Your Neighbour

Games you can use for this step


Tools: Laptop, paper, pen

Objective: Get everyone acquainted by having your team attempt to draw each other; get everyone accustomed to imperfection (prototyping will also be imperfect) 🙂 

  • You can do the exercises using pen and paper, and then share your drawings by showing them on the webcam. The facilitator should make sure everyone has a pen and paper ahead of the session. 
  • Assign each team member with another person’s name and send them a direct message to let them know — it’s important to send it privately so the others can’t see the names. 
  • Give everyone 1 minute to silently draw the person they identified in the mural (tip: play music during the silent moment in the background and make sure the sound can be heard by the participants through your microphone). 
  • When everyone has finished drawing, take turns guessing who drew who. 
02. Rapid Prototyping Energizer (for in-person events only)

Step 1 — Collect whatever strange or mundane items you find sitting on your room or hidden in your bags: paper clips, plastic bags, chargers, ear plugs, yogurt lids, cardboard packaging, you get the idea…  

Step 2 — (If you are doing this activity in a group, do this part individually.) Set a timer for 5 minutes. This is important! The time pressure will motivate you. Before the timer goes off, write as many things that you could make with the things in your junk pile. Self-watering flower pot? Great! Amusement park ride for a cockroach? Awesome! At this point, reserve judgement. The goal here is quantity, not quality.

Step 3 — (If you are doing this activity in a group, do this part together. ) Set a timer for 10 minutes. Write all of your ideas on sticky notes and arrange them in clusters. Based on the similarities, see if you come up with any new ideas. Are there ways to combine some of the ideas, or extend them? Together, choose one that you want to prototype and figure out who this object will be for and what purpose will it serve.

Step 4 — (If you are doing this activity in a group, do this part together.) Set a timer for 15 minutes. Here’s the part where you actually build a functional (albeit low-efoort) prototype of your idea. Yes, some things won’t work fully, but that’s the fun part — how can you get as close as possible with the limited materials you have? Make sure to test out your prototype by wearing it, using it, acting out some of its functions, etc.

For online #DevPolHack:

Use the same game but ask participants to do the work individually and build something from things they have laying around. In Step 3, ask participants to make a decision on what to build on their own, and to spice up the challenge, ask them to build something they will have to post as their profile image on social media (for example) or something they will have to show to their family members after the online event 😊 In the online setting, allow for some extra time so every participant can present what they built.

Make a model

Act it out

Concept tool

The concept canvas is a tool used to capture important details about a concept in a participatory manner. It is used in the Prototype stage to push the thinking of teams and force answers to questions that otherwise may not come out in the prototyping process. 

Check out the Advocacy Toolbox for Influence Tree (p. 11) and Opposition Matrix (p. 14)

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