Pulse Stories: Mother’s Love

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Pulse Lab Jakarta, with the support of DFAT, recently teamed up with the TRANSFORMASI initiative to deliver a couple of health service design workshops in East Java, Indonesia. Below, we share the insights generated by the design research conducted in advance of the workshop in Probolinggo.

Welcome to the second edition of Pulse Stories

At Pulse Lab Jakarta, one of our design principles is to put citizens at the centre of our innovation processes. Pulse Stories is part of our work to better understand the life context of the people we serve.

For our second edition, we take you to Probolinggo, a city in East Java where we immerse ourselves in the lives of expectant mothers and healthcare providers to understand experiences of maternal health services from both sides of the service interface.

The design research was conducted in advance of a service design bootcamp which PLJ facilitated jointly with the TRANSFORMASI programme. We uncovered five insights that help us to understand the behavior of expectant mothers (and healthcare providers) when it comes to managing pregnancy:

  1. Care for the heart: expectant mothers’ experience with healthcare providers is significantly influenced by how well they are treated. The emotional side of the experience is as important as the clinical care.
  2. Partner up: husbands give extra care for their pregnant wives, as long as it does not interfere with public perceptions of their “masculinity.”
  3. Risk and reward: there is a tendency among expectant mothers to avoid knowing more about the state of their pregnancy if it is classified as high risk.
  4. Persuade the inner circle: expectant mothers place more value on the advice of their parents and friends than on the sound medical opinion of healthcare specialists.
  5. Lighten the load: due to the highly centralized approach, healthcare providers have to spend a significant amount of time completing forms.

Pulse Stories capture the anecdotes and inspiration gathered during Pulse Lab Jakarta’s field trips to different parts of Indonesia. We hope that, over time, these stories form patterns that will inspire our data innovations and the development of tools for public administrators.


Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia.

Transforming Administration-Strengthening Innovation (TRANSFORMASI) is a programme funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by GIZ (Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH).

TRANSFORMASI contributes to the development of innovations in public service delivery under its overall aim to foster a more efficient, effective, accountable and citizen-oriented bureaucracy. The bootcamps are held under the framework of the Public Service Innovation Network East Java (JIPPJATIM), which is a joint initiative by the East Java Province, several local governments, KPP, JPIP, the Universities tof Brawijaya and Airlangga, CSOs and TRANSFORMASI.

TRANSFORMASI organised the bootcamp in collaboration with JIPPJATIM partners and PLJ supported with facilitation. Support to initiatives emerging from the bootcamps has been delivered by TRANSFORMASI to date.

Top image: Ibu Rohmah and Pak Budi, a couple interviewed as part of the design research in East Java, Indonesia [Lody Andrian/UN Global Pulse, 2015]

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