Our other techniques

Our creative way of working and our innovative techniques set us apart. We are continually developing our way of working, trying out new techniques and updating our methods.

Below are some of the techniques that we offer (in addition to Planning for Real®). We can provide training for communities or organisations wishing to use our techniques, and we can design and facilitate workshops, focus groups and entire programmes of community engagement. Whether it is stakeholder mapping, action planning and prioritisation or an evaluation of the social impact of a project, we can help.

Get in touch with us to discuss your plans, we’re here to help and what’s more, it will probably cost less than you think.

Building Design

A visual process using a polystyrene base, 3D furniture and cardboard walls to enable local residents to be involved in the design of a new building or the renovation of an existing one.

Social impact analysis

We can support organisations looking to demonstrate the social value of their activities. We are experts in designing and running interactive stakeholder workshops, and we can tailor these in order to capture and build an evidence base of the outcomes of any project. We offer a full range of support, from a stand alone stakeholder engagement workshop to a full evaluative or forecast social impact analysis.

Evaluation for Real (EfR)

EfR draws on the experience of a range of community based evaluations and uses a variety of participative tools and techniques. It is for anyone concerned with improving the effectiveness of community and voluntary sector projects and programmes. EfR recognises the importance of getting the whole picture in understanding why a project is successful or not. It also stresses the importance of evaluation informing the ongoing development of the project.

Evaluation trees

An exercise based around a project or group, aimed at identifying in a simple way both positive and negative circumstances surrounding it, inputs or resources going in, the process involved, the immediate results and the expected long term developments.

Ideas wall exercise

Ideas wall exercise, part of the 'What makes a good place' project

Ideas walls

A simple technique to encourage the generation of ideas in an inclusive and non-confrontational way. Ideas walls can be used with people of all ages, and have been used very successfully with young people.

Concentric circles

A method which can be used for both stakeholder mapping and building consensus. We use a cloth concentric circle with suggestions placed around the edge of the outer circle. Individuals prioritise these by moving forward one space the ideas or suggestions they support.

Planning and evaluation tools

These include:

  • Rainbow map – a visioning exercise designed to help a group to share its visions for the future and discuss a common way forward
  • Yellow Brick Road – a tool which helps groups to plan the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve their vision
  • Weather map – a quick visual technique for reviewing how a group is feeling and how much progress has been made. It works well as a mid-point review in, for example, a two day training course, or at the end of a weekly session.

Transect walks

Through the medium of walking a route around an area, local residents, of all ages, are encouraged to highlight areas and issues of concern or suggestions for improvements, discuss these, with a record being made of their comments. This can then be followed up by a ‘pin board’ activity and by facilitated stakeholder workshops.