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Create a vision

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 11 months ago

Step 3: Create a vision


Rationale: why develop a vision and what it brings to the process

Visioning is a tool that helps make explicit where people want to go with their project--the sort of outcomes and impacts they want to help bring about. It can be quite motivating, particularly when done in a group setting, as it can generate a lot of discussion among the members of the group. This exercise also helps create a common vision in the group, if there is none beforehand.


The danger of visioning is that people can be unrealistic and overambitious to such an extent that what they produce is not really useful for planning. It is also important to do the visioning exercise in line with specific activities, avoiding abstract or very generalized visions.


Preparation for the exercise:


how long it takes

5 minutes for individual reflection on the vision

40 minutes for each group to write out the vision

10 minutes for presentation and discussion


How to do a vision:

Ask the participants to carry out a visioning exercise, which borrows from appreciative inquiry (see ILAC Brief no. 6 – Acosta and Douthwaite, 2005), to describe project success one-and-a-half years in the future. One-and-a-half years is chosen because most of the projects we work with work in complex environments where it is difficult to plan with any certainty for more than 6 months. Hence 1.5 years represents three time periods.


Projects working in simpler and more predictable environments would construct their visions further in the future. We have found that having a relatively short time horizon helps keeps the vision concrete. However, it is sometimes useful to construct visions for after the end of a project works to stretch participants to think about who will be using and promoting project outputs once the project has finished, and so who they really need to be working with.


Click here for a powerpoint slide of a visioning exercise.



Frequently asked questions

How far into the future should a vision go?

Option 1: two years, if you want to stretch people into thinking who would be using project outputs after the end of the project. The disadvantage with this is that it might be too far into the future for people to be realistic about.

Option 2: ask the people how far into the future can they plan? if they say 6 months you multiply it by three. You do a vision a year and a half into the future.


What is scaling up and scaling out?

Scaling out refers to the increasing adoption of project outputs from farmer to farmer, or community to community, within the same stakeholder groups. Scaling-up refers to a vertical institutional expansion based largely on first-hand experience, word-of-mouth, and positive feedback from adopters to policy makers and the other stakeholders. Scaling-up is key to building a more enabling environment for the scaling-out process






Next step: Draw network maps





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