Global Ideas Design Jam x WaterAid

Improve hygiene practices in rural health care facilities in cambodia to stop the spread of infection and disease

  • Health centres have at least one midwife, and one registered nurse on staff
  • Often there isn’t a doctor present when women come to deliver
  • Cleaning of the delivery unit and maternity ward is done either by the health staff or a cleaner
  • Most health care facilities have an imporved source of water and an imporved sanitation facility, however these are often locked by staff and not available to the public
  • Handwashing stations are also mainly used by the facility staff
  • Drinking water is only available in bottles, brought by staff and patients to the facility    

Target Market:

  1. Women who go to a health centre to give birth
    The health centre is an affordable option for women in rural areas for delivery. They often won’t stay overnight and will go home with their family as soon as possible.
  2. Some level of family income
    People who access these clinics are often not the poorest of the poor, and are able to pay a modest user fee for services.
  3. Not necessarily using a toilet at home
    60% of the rural population practices open defecation, although ¾ of the remaining population uses and improved sanitation facility.  

The Baby Bay team was engaged to perform an in-depth discovery to pinpoint the design opportunities available within the market for the improvement of hygiene practices in rural health care facilities in Cambodia to stop the spread of infection and disease. Discussion with Dr. Llyod founder of Global Ideas helped the Baby Bay team to establish an understanding on the situation at hand and the constraints in such rural settings. The team conducted a quick brainstorm using affinity diagramming.

Sanitisation of the birthing suite, participants and after birth jourey is unreliable, leading to increased infant infection and death.
— Problem statement defined by The Baby Bay team

With the time constraints, the team made some assumptions (e.g. a water bath right outside the clinic for pregnant mothers to wash their feet before entering) analysing users’ behaviours, goals and need based on all the information that we were provided by WaterAid and the Global Ideas team.

The team reviewed the results from the Affinity diagramming and extracted data based on specific needs and pain points helped identified three significant groups of users: the stockist, the birth facilitator and the new mum.  Personas were created to help the team focus and create user process flows on an empathic level through the personas’ perspectives.

The Baby Bay
Integrates all materials and instruction for birthing and infant hygiene into one simple system for the clinic and home.
— Solution by the Baby Bay team

Competitive analysis was performed on existing birthing kits, which helped identify design opportunities available for the Baby Bay:

  • Existing birthing kits provide equipment for safe birth in the field
  • Baby Bay point of difference is, it is for use in a clinic where birthing equipment already exists
  • Integrates the materials and instructions needed to sanitise the birthing equipment and
    participants properly
  • Is taken home so that sanitary practices are easily learned and maintained

The Baby Bay team narrowed problem definition to focus on area of high risk. Several brainstormed solutions include: Booty Box, digital QC, black lights, mass disinfection, education reform, key influencers. In the end, the Baby Bay team decided to focus on a solution that integrated education, materials and efficacy. To validate the team's design solutions, the team set up a design studio to work in an Agile environment to spur ideas through series of paper prototypes and usability testing in an efficient and low-cost manner.

User participants were tested and recorded for study purposes. The behaviours of the users’ interactions with the prototype and the way they carried out the user's journey allowed the team to note for recommendations for iterations.

Feedback included: 

  1. Cost
  2. Distribution
  3. Health Information
  4. Similar Product Comparison


  1. Defined point of difference compared to birth kits
  2. Simplified product and process (e.g. removed booty box)
  3. Made changes for cultural considerations (e.g. colours, graphics, baby sling)

It is recommended to conduct further field research with users in clinics and at home. The next step of development would be to

  • Finalise user journey to optimise ease of use
  • Finalise infographics and educational elements (e.g. Colour and number theory)
  • Source and work out manufacturing cost and material specification (Ideally to source local manufacturing that would enhance economic development options)
  • Sort out distribution channels and feasibility (e.g. partner with WHO or similar who are already producing and supplying the birth kits)