The provided link
for Mission One's Learn assignment covered a lot of bases and out of those I've got a couple I like in particular. My personal favorite out of all of these would have to be the tip from Amy Smith...
Provide skills, not just finished technologies. The current revolution in design for developing countries is the notion of co-creation, of teaching the skills necessary to create the solution,
rather than simply providing the solution. By involving the community
throughout the design process, you can help equip people to innovate
and contribute to the evolution of the product. Furthermore, they
acquire the skills needed to create solutions to a much wider variety
of problems. They are empowered.
No matter how much money or food or aid you throw at a community, they will continue operating the same way they always have. They may be more comfortable for a short while, but there will be very little change for they haven't been taught any new skills or been introduced to any new ideas. The way to really permanently alter a community is introducing the idea that they can better themselves and then teaching them how. This means that even after you have left, improvement can continue, and--even better--the innovators are the ones who are the most intimately familiar with the problems at hand. This is a truly essential part of permanent and continual improvement upon a social structure. Instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in even one member of a community can be spark a community needs.
I've always thought that when poverty or famine are an issue, simply injecting money or food into the system is not the thing to do. Infrastructures and businesses must be rebuilt from the ground up, and often people do not realize that such a great overhaul cannot happen without community effort. I feel that if we can find a way to educate even a small percent of a population and teach them how to build upon the infrastructures and social systems that are around them, then that small spark will feed itself as others in the community benefit from improvements and begin to learn as well.
One thing that was missing from this list was the importance of understanding basic human psychology and incentive structures. For change to occur, people need to be engaged in the process--the bigger the change the more true this is. Therefore in order for you to affect change in any lasting incarnation, you must understand how to get people hooked in and engaged in whatever project you are working on. I mean, yeah this was included in several smaller parts, such as lowering costs and ensuring that your product is needed in the given setting, but I feel that the overarching idea of using human behavioral patterns to your advantage should be stated flat out somewhere. You can't just change something, you have to create something that people feel compelled to perpetuate and improve upon.