Enabling students and professionals to “educate themselves” on making appropriate career choices
Enabling a large body of sales training content to be used fully and effectively
Enabling software professionals to enhance value in a project relationship
Enabling a large bank to codify and diffuse best-practice behavior rapidly
Enabling a change agency to enhance the assimilation and applicationization of health-education messages by the target audience
Enabling a change agency to enhance the assimilation and applicationization of health-education messages by the target audience

A leading community service organization in the country was engaged in a nutrition education initiative in eastern Uttar Pradesh in India. The nutrition education initiative was aided by a leading development funding agency.

As a committed organization, the project team members were concerned about two key issues:
One, how to ensure assimilation of the nutrition educational ideas by the rural housewife and children who were the target audience for the project.
Two, how to ensure application of these ideas into the daily lives/ family-level choices by those who had assimilated these ideas.

Illumine as a mentoring agency – who was supporting the project team members on the methodology side – recognized that the challenge was not an ‘education one’ but one associated with a transformation of identity of the rural housewife.

Solution approach
The core of the solution approach was a re-envisioning of the rural housewife as a nutritional designer for her household – one who would always choose to act in the highest interest of her family – and one whose only need for outside help was in the form of design tools that would help her play her role better and more effectively.

This vision resulted in a fundamental frameshift in our thinking about nutrition education. From a focus on nutritional concepts, we moved first to focusing on the community aspirations that impact nutritional behavior.

The mapping of community aspirations was followed by a design journey where the appropriate "nutritional solutions" were worked out on a first-cut basis.

The next step in the journey involved converting the design of cognitive transformations into an actionable model. This we called the “Thali Model” (Thali means a complete meal) – the Thali Model being a simple and powerful way to represent the relationship between aspirational outcomes (sought by the community) and the cognitive outcomes (sought by those conducting the interventions).

This became the basis for creating a ‘design envisioning’ for the housewife as a nutritional designer who could now use the generic “thali model” in extremely specific and contexted ways.

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