In order to move quickly, the VALOR team applied a multi-pronged approach to gather insights and distill an understanding of the targeted men, relying on a combination of secondary data and remote consultations with men.
Our initial audience insight was derived from design sprints conducted by Jhpiedo around men’s desire for HIV testing in Zambia and Malawi, program documents from projects in the region, and RISE program learnings, including insights gathered from interviews with service providers working in RISE supported health facilities. See summary of these findings in Figure H below.
As we continued to engage men throughout concept and prototype testing, our understanding of the “VALOR man” evolved. As a team, we continued to challenge our own empathic understanding of the VALOR man. For example, originally, we believed that what men needed most was to find the courage within themselves to overcome their fear, especially fear of testing and of HIV. We learned that men believed courage was not something a man achieved alone, rather, it was built through the support of friends and loved ones. As a result, our understanding of the VALOR man transitioned from a man who saw courage as an individual challenge, to something achieved through the active support of friends and family.