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'Let's learn together': co-creating mental health solutions with adolescents in Tanzania and Viet Nam

Case/country studies

Written by Christina Myers, Fiona Samuels, Esther Kyungu, Dayani Mbowe, Hoang-Minh Dang, Van Vu, Ha Le, Carmen Leon-Himmelstine, Arnaldo Pellini

Image credit:Painting featured at the UNiTE circle exhibition organized with the Vietnam Youth Union, Vietnam Women’s Museum in Ha Noi, November 2011. Credit: Krista Seddon / Flickr.

“There might be some with mental illness among us.”
Lessons from co-creating together in Tanzania and Viet Nam.

Co-creation is when participants and key stakeholders themselves are central to the process of designing solutions. This approach challenges the idea that interventions should be designed for individuals, and instead focuses on contextualising interventions through designing solutions by the very individuals who will be using them.

This ODI Case study explores the experiences and reflections that emerged from designing and implementing a co-creation process. The project, funded by Fondation Botnar, was aiming to respond to mental health and well-being challenges facing adolescents in Tanzania and Viet Nam by co-creating digital and non-digital solutions. In the context of Covid-19, it also presents insights that can be used to inform what a co-design process should consider in practice, as well as a few lessons learnt and suggestions on how to do things differently in future.

This brief has been supported by Fondation Botnar which has granted ODI and our in-country partners — the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH) and the Center of Research, Information and Services in Psychology (CRISP) at the Vietnam National University, a 2.5-year project. The aim is to address the mental health needs of adolescents in schools, in the community and at the institutional level, in both Tanzania and Viet Nam, through the co-creation and application of digital and non-digital approaches and technologies.