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DIY Toolkit

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The DIY Toolkit was designed for development practitioners to invent, adopt or adapt ideas. It is a curated collection of design-based tools that draws on the publisher's study of many tools currently being used. The publisher has included the ones which it believes practitioners find most useful. While created for a development context, the tools are applicable to other contexts. The website contains video guidance, case studies, and associated curriculum (DIY Learn). The resource can be downloaded in many language.
Each tool is presented in terms of what it is, how to use it, the tool itself, and a case study of its use in practice.

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Discipline or practice

International Development

Social Innovation


Link to toolkit

Source files

About this resource


United Kingdom

Date Published


CC BY-NC-SA Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


Web-based resource

PDF publication

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2 reviews for "DIY Toolkit"

  1. The DIY (Development, Innovation and You) Toolkit, created by NESTA in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, aims to provide efficient tools to organisations and actors to invent, adopt or adapt ideas that can deliver better results. The 30 tools are available in PDF or on the website. They are a collection of the best social innovation tools found by the researchers, specially designed for people working in development. They have been tested in many situations to ensure their quality and are divided into 8 broader categories defined as “I want to…”:
    – Look ahead
    – Develop a clear plan
    – Clarify my priorities
    – Collect inputs from others
    – Know the people I’m working with
    – Generate new ideas
    – Test and Improve
    – Sustain and Implement
    They are structured according to specific issues people or organisations might face, and under each, there are very clear indications and instructions on what the tool is, how to use it and make the most out of it. It is incredibly visual, and there are videos which are concise and efficient to attract the users further and deepen his/her knowledge. Besides, each tool is a visual and practical activity for the users to complete, which completely engages him/her and helps to move forward in a complex process, such as completing a business model canvas; a causes diagram or a storyworld (each of which can be download and completed by hand, for example, depending on the preferences of the user).

    This toolkit is handy and a key interactive source of knowledge and exercise as it contains many different tools, each useful in a specific situation, which could be potentially and initially hard to find for each step. It allows the users to have the principal tools needed in one place and have a very clear and comprehensive (entire) process. I would highly recommend it; especially as the main database for tools, at the beginning of the research process to have a global vision of what can be needed. The users can even look at some tools and not others, depending on what they need specifically.

  2. The DIY Toolkit is a very comprehensive toolkit that provides various tools for different stages depending on a project’s needs and progress. The toolkit also contains additional case studies for each instrument. For example, the toolkit includes a case study where SBCSol – INCUBADORA de Empreendimentos Solidarios used the Business Model Canvas to solve the issue of mental treatment in marginalised communities through clown training and how the model itself was used in this specific case. The case studies are beneficial to understand how these tools can be exercised in real situations. As a user, I consider the toolkit as a beginner-friendly toolkit because it contains the different visual templates that users can print, thorough instructions to use each tool and the examples on how to use them through the case studies. Personally, I find the Business Model Canvas, Problem Definition, Evidence Planning and the Causes Diagram especially useful to see whether our ideas have matched the target audience and the actual goals that we are trying to achieve. They can also be used in citizen participation workshops for community development projects.

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