Vietnam is a lower middle-income country with a population of 91.5 million people, 26% of whom are women of reproductive age (from 15-49). Despite Vietnam has made substantial progress in improving maternal and neonatal care through the health services network across the entire country with village health workers and commune health stations, there are still important challenges facing Vietnam’s universal maternal care provisions as some remote regions remain isolated, with low access to these health and wellbeing services. 

‘Maternity packages’ such as the Finland’s “baby box” have been used to address health and social welfare provision. However, the implementation of these “maternity packages” in other contexts requires a clear understanding of the political, social and cultural landscape in order to avoid the risk of framing the mother, children and entire maternal care experience in the wrong way. This work focused on the Vietnamese context,  to understand the particular needs and interrelations of the ethnic minority group Bahnar (Ba Na) in the Kon Tum province using a bottom-up and human centred design approach to co-design and implement the appropriate means for an improved maternal care provision.



Co-design is becoming important in the face of complex social, political, environmental, educational and technological issues, where no one person has the knowledge and skills to understand and solve them, and where a different approach is needed to empower people to participate and take control of their own life and environment. Here, the key purpose of “design” needs to be thought of not only the development of a ‘thing’ but also a ‘socio-material assembly’, where human and non-human elements are assembled together around a certain matter of concern.