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

Capability Calculation: When people choose between vital parts of being human

A capability calculation is how people make choices when faced with limits to fulfill their capabilities. Ideally in a flourishing society people have the opprotunity to fulfill all their capabilities.  All capabilities are important.  However, sometimes fulfilling one capability can put another at risk. When fulfilling one capability puts another at risk people choose which part of their personhood will increase and which will decrease.  Because capabilities are interconnected when people are forces to choose -especially below a certain threshold- allRead more

Theories of Change: Grounded for Complex Environments

Theories of change need to be grounded in context and derived from an understanding of complexity.  Starting new projects –or scaling proved projects in new contexts- is complex. Applied to development complexity happens when there are high levels of social disagreement and low levels of technical expertise. Since projects are complex emergence, nonlinearity, and systems thinking are important for both project development and continued change (Patton, 2010). Complex projects managed in a linear way often miss their mark. Further, ifRead more

THE MODEL FLOURISHING: Tipping Points for Social Innovation

A model to create flourishing societies Grounded in context and necessity, THE MODEL FLOURISHING is a powerful method for social change.  It originally was developed for use with socially excluded people who live with the ebb and flow of conflict. Using a combination of human capabilities, human rights, human security, complexity theory, and grounded theory, the model takes a participatory action research approach to increase people’s agency and to create organizational and societal change. Previous capabilities approaches have been theoretical—notRead more