Program cancelled due to COVID-19.

Mombasa, Kenya

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is partnering with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) to host an immersive Design Bootcamp in East Africa.

The Design Bootcamp will train participants from AKF, MIIS, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and others in various approaches to design, such as Human Centered Design, Appreciative Inquiry, Stakeholder Analysis, and Theory of Change.

Participants will use these approaches to engage with local stakeholders to design innovative initiatives intended to improve quality of life in AKDN core geographies. Participants completing the Design Bootcamp will receive a certificate in Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation (DPMI) from MIIS.

Objectives of the Design Bootcamp

  1. Develop actionable, innovative designs for AKDN initiatives intended to improve quality of life in core geographies.
  2. Facilitate a diverse group of participants to engage deeply with local stakeholders (civil society, government, private sector, community members) in the design of innovative initiatives intended to improve quality of life.
  3. Provide AKF/AKDN staff with high quality training in diverse design methodologies, leading to a university recognised certification.
  4. Provide MIIS students, and other participants, with a highly practical learning opportunity that places them in a real-world situation, and generates products that will be useful to AKF/AKDN and other local stakeholders.


Week 1

  • Days 1-2: Orientation to AKDN’s work in the Kenya Coast Region.
  • Days 3-5: Intensive classroom teaching of foundation topics including: sectoral content related to challenges, design thinking, appreciative inquiry, stakeholder analysis, theory of change, and idea pitching.

Week 2

  • Days 6-8: Stakeholder engagement through (i) multi-stakeholder interviews and workshops, (ii) collaborative engagement with local civil society organisations, (iii) prototyping, etc. Instructor debrief and support every evening.
  • Day 9: Documentation of results and preparation for final pitch.
  • Day 10: Pitching of initiative ideas to a panel of Design Bootcamp Instructors and AKF/AKDN leaders.

Design Challenge

The particular design challenges for the Bootcamp will be determined in consultation with local, regional, and global AKF/AKDN staff. Design Bootcamps will have multiple challenges based on emerging needs, opportunities and priorities in the focal core geography.

Tentative Client Challenges:

1.) Greening Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa

2.) Development of the AKF Innovation Hub East Africa for youth 15-24

3.) Project for local civil society or county government office


The cohort of the Design Bootcamp is intentionally small in size to maximize engagement between participants and with instructors, with no more than 30 participants enrolled. This will include a combination of MIIS graduate students, current staff of AKF/AKDN, and mid-career practitioners from other organisations.

For more information, contact us at dpmi@miis.edu or 831-647-6417.