We have had a positive experience recently in working with two community groups to design and conduct research on topics they consider important. Both research projects were managed by Ninti One and we contributed to the work as their partner. I came away from each project thinking that the reasons why the projects went well deserved to be thought through and written down, which is the purpose of this article.
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.