A Culturally Humble Approach to Designing a Sports-Based Youth Development Program With African-Australian Community

Qual Health Res. 2024 Mar 14:10497323241231856. doi: 10.1177/10497323241231856. Online ahead of print.


This article draws on the concept of cultural humility, to describe and analyze a decolonizing approach to co-designing a primary prevention basketball program for young African-Australian people in Melbourne, Australia. We explore the potential for genuine collaboration and power-sharing with a culturally diverse community through collaboratively developing the co-design process and resultant program design. This article highlights the central role of UBUNTU in the co-design process, prioritizing African ways of knowing, being, and doing within a Westernized social work and design context. Through reporting on the stages of program design, we offer an example of how Indigenous knowledges and philosophies such as UBUNTU might be incorporated into co-design through cultural humility. We suggest this allows for a transformation of design tools and processes in ways that undermine oppressive and marginalizing power imbalances in design and social work.

Keywords: UBUNTU; community-based co-design; cultural humility; culturally diverse communities; decolonization; grassroots community design; research methods; social work.