Many years ago I had the opportunity to work with communities of Quechua-speaking people in the high Andes of the north of Peru. In one instance I was part of a team conducting a needs assessment to work out what programs or services a local NGO might be able to offer.
We have had a positive experience working with two community groups to design and conduct research on topics they consider important.
The increasing need for evidence of the impact of investments in social development, health and education programs places pressures on organisations and their staff. This is not unreasonable, but for many people, monitoring and evaluation remains an obscure subject, distant from the day-to-day activities of working with clients.
This article responds to requests we have received for more information on visual methods that enable productive conversations with community groups. These conversations may be around problems they are seeking to tackle, the planning of a project, the airing of views on a particular subject or other situations in which someone is facilitating a session with a group of local people.