Our approach
  • Stema is an approach, framework and tool that places this concept of resourcefulness at the core of its work, to improve the health and well-being of people.
  • Stema takes a transdisciplinary, collaborative approach to tackling global health challenges.
  • We draw on insights from architecture, engineering, health science, mathematics and medicine.

Part of Stema's work will be to provide elegant strategies and tools to:

  1. Operationalise a rich body of theory already available in the crowded space of academia
  2. Facilitate whole-systems thinking during planning and implementation

In this way, Stema is a bridge between academia, policy, implementation and the community, most importantly. A resourcefulness approach unifies our team:

  • Developing theory of resourcefulness
  • Understanding how people marshal resources
  • Testing and applying the theory on various scales
  • Practical fieldwork contributions
  • Building technology from these insights


  • Innovations in health are often seen as the solution to the complex challenges we face in addressing health challenges worldwide, but innovations are often too closely linked to reductionist ideas of technological solution and reliance on top-down, biomedical views of intervening.
  • The identification of interventions as 'innovations' can be problematic, as successful strategies rarely exist as solutions in and of themselves.
  • Successful and sustained interventions to improve health are much more complex than mainstream innovation narratives let on.
  • Solutions must be designed for and coordinated with the community, by doing so, improve the use of local resources, build local capacities, provide education, and empower participants as active partners in their own health.

In this regard, the concept of resourcefulness is central to our work, encompassing human, material, intellectual, cultural, and social capital.


Resourcefulness is about the capability of a community to mobilise resources effectively to improve their health and wellbeing.

It is something that is cultivated in the community, and so a community-centred approach to interventions to health is essential; this is fundamental to an intervention's long term sustainability.

It is a cyclical process that aims to improve long-term resilience and adaptability for improving and managing health.


  • Resourcefulness has become for us a process of implementing or transforming local resources to address a health need or adapting a resource to a specific local context.
  • Stema aims to look in depth at the processes and convergence of resources and capabilities, drawing on participatory methods, design and development practices, we can form better ideas of how to enhance the resourcefulness of places and people.