Saturday 11 September 2010

Tools again - nicely presented

This is my 101st blog post! Time flies!
I have subscribed to the delightful Pelican mailing list. The pelican, by the way, was the symbol of the Huguenots, that French protestant sect who fled religious prosecution. A statue of a pelican commemorates their arrival in Berlin some time in the... hm... late 17th century. Anyway, this is what I learnt on the mailing list today: the One World Trust has launched a new site, somewhat pompously called Accountability Tools for Policy Research.

It has a handy dial on its starting page, where you can select three different search criteria, which take you to time-tested tools and resources for further study. For example, I selected "Stakeholders: Partners; Process: Strategy Setting; Principles: Participation". I was presented with APPA (Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action), Cause-Effect Diagram, Conference Management and Presentation, Critical Timelines, Episode Studies, Evolving Storylines, Future Search Conference, Graffiti wall, Hierarchical Card Sorting (HCS), Historical Trends and Timelines, Institutional Linkage Diagram, Learning Systems Methodology, Local Level Participation Planning Approach (LLPPA), Most Significant Change (MSC), Multiple Perspectives, Net-Map, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PCA), Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal (PRCA), Peer Review, Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Knowledge Systems (RAAKS), Scenario Testing and Visioning, Scoping/ Situation Analysis (turns out this is a new name for SWOT), Social Network Analysis (SNA), Soft Systems Methodology CATWOE Analysis, Stakeholder Consultation, Technology of Participation (ToP, one of my favourites), Weighted Checklists.

Quite a bagful! If there is one thing our sector is good at, it's in churning out new acronyms and dressing up simplified social science tools in new clothes. Nevertheless, it's great to see all these useful tools in one place and so easily accessible. You click on one tools and you're taken to a short list of quality references that can be downloaded. Happy browsing.

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