Group SenseMaking

This article overviews how to use the SenseMaker method to shift analysis away from external experts to project teams.  The article reflects experiences of leading teams of international NGOs and local NGOs in group analysis in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The mix of technology used by SenseMaker and social process (i.e. Robert Chambers, power reversals) can create groundedness for project implications in complex environments.  If you are interested in a simple review of SenseMaker go to Making Sense of Complexity. Robert Chambers masterfully compared the development industry to Hans Christian Anderson’s classic “The Emperor’s NewRead more

Making Sense of Complexity: Review of SenseMaker for Development

This short article reviews unique strengths and areas to be aware of when using SenseMaker for development research.  SenseMaker is a research tool designed for social complexity.  It fits a unique niche. Firstly, its indicators are easily visualized and dis-aggregated which makes it ideal for pragmatic development needs.  Secondly, answers to questions emerge from peoples’ experiences which increases trustworthiness of the data.  Thirdly, it asks questions in such a way that causes people to answer based on complexity science principlesRead more

Change: Community Action and the Theory U

Development depends on people identifying potential, understanding need and creating change.  It depends on people moving from talking to action.  The tools created to do this are often not as powerful as they were during the first generation of innovators.  The forms -participatory tools- have been kept but the meaning has been lost.  The radical nature of participation has been watered down by the second -or third- generation of use.  Without the democratic ethos, participation becomes a time-consuming, often useless part of a project rather than theRead more

Who has Authority for People’s Well-being?  Mapping Citizen Action.  

This article follows the article Mapping the Means to Citizen Action.  To understand citizen voice and action we asked a variety of questions.  Our core inquiry was around: Which authority bearers give the most support to people’s well-being?  Who do people in the community go to when they face issues they can’t solve?  Which institutions provide what support?  The following tool describes one-piece of a larger project that looked at citizen voice and action. Deciding whom are the ‘authority bearers’. Read more