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Oxfam Datalab

Enable people in Hanoi to prepare for floodings

Client Challenge: connect people in urban areas

Oxfam Vietnam wants to lower chances that floodings and hurricanes, at a rising rate due to climate change, push people back into poverty. After working in rural areas for over ten years, Oxfam moved into Hanoi and everything is different: scale, risks and interdependencies.


How to connect with people when three blocks house more people than a village? How can access to data help people prepare? The Oxfam Datalab wanted to try a new approach.

ILUMY Innovation: remote prototyping in Hanoi

There are many ways to help prepare for floodings: predicting flood levels, facilitating dialogue, providing basic information, identifying and mapping risks, helping people raise their voice. But what has enough relevance to motivate people to connect?


We interviewed people in flood prone areas. Already during interviews, we developed prototypes in Amsterdam and asked interviewees for feedback on possible solutions. Then we facilitated a hackathon in Hanoi, which provided new insights and helped Oxfam connect to local developers and designers. With the new formed team, we’re prototyping a new application. To be continued.

Shared insight: remote prototyping works, live contact essential

Looking back, we got the most valuable insights from direct interviews with citizens and local government officials. Remote interviews via locals had a double language barrier and were too much one-way, stopping us from really exploring topics. With insights from Vietnam we’ve created a new approach for remote prototyping sprints.

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