.
The Participatory Policy-Making Process
The Participatory Workspace in Internet
The Innovative Project Design Process

The Participatory Policy-Making Process

This is a methodic and efficient process for undertaking the full development of a policy in any field, with a high degree of creative participation. Participants are the relevant actors or stakeholders concerned. They are not just consulted to check some ideas from the policy maker. They are actually the main source of proposals, values and guidance. This process assures both effectiveness and legitimacy of the resulting policy.

The process starts by setting up a group of convokers, with legitimacy in the corresponding field, that calls upon the relevant actors with criteria of diversity and representativity. For public policies it may involve several public, private and citizen entities; for enterprises, just some senior officers. The process involves three methodological steps:

a) "Action mapping": Creating by consensus a concrete and action-oriented vision of future for the policy field, called the action map, that:

Reflects all the wealth and complexity of the real situation,

Systematizes all its action space, both actual (present) and potential (future), and

Assesses the distance from the present situation to the desired future.

The action map is presented on one single page and reflects the whole complexity of the field. It is a trans-disciplinary tool in plain language, which is easy to understand to all involved. Building it up takes a two- to three-day workshop, with up to 25 participants, under the conduction of a qualified facilitator. Dozens of action maps have been formulated in IDI projects.

b) Identification of potentialities: Systematic identification of the practical action proposals that can be undertaken, in each line of action of the map, to create the future outlined by it. A potentiality is a valuable action that is latent and can only be uncovered through investigation or participative search done methodically. Each potentiality is a relevant and viable project. The identification is carried out through a series of separate workshops, which take three to four hours each, and a drafting period. They are also conducted by qualified facilitators. Hundreds of potentialities have been found in IDI projects.

c) Designing a strategy for permanent innovation: Once the potentialities are available it makes sense to define the development strategy, with objectives, means, structures and priorities. This definition comes out directly from the preceding steps and has a strong legitimacy and potential effectiveness. It can be done directly by the policy agency or the group of convokers, with some guidance from the facilitators.

 Go to Top 

The Participatory Workspace in Internet

The Participatory Workspace (PWS) is a communication and action tool for communities of people, that is easily configured according to their particular needs. It was developed by IDI with partial support from IDRC. The PWS facilitates network activities, peer communication, project supervision, etc. It organizes communication, stores messages and documents, and monitors the whole system. It can be hosted in a client’s server, if it has such capacity, or in a secure server designated by our Institute. Its main characteristics are:

Go to Top 

The Innovative Project Design Process

Projects frequently fail in developing countries, with significant losses of money, hopes, trust and time. Why do they fail so often? Can anything be done to reduce the probabilities of failure?

The Innovative Project Design Process (IPDP) is a design tool based on the ID Model that can contribute towards improving the project success ratio in all fields. Its working proposals are supported by a key finding:

A finding about development projects: Every successful and sustainable project has left an innovation established in the real world and is based on a clear potentiality. Every failed project has not been able to establish an innovation and usually does not have a clear potentiality. Clarity in a project’s potentiality is a necessary condition for its sustainability and success. [See our notion of potentiality in the preceding section]

The IPDP project design notion: Development projects are conceived as agreements to undertake innovations. Project design starts from the participatory and rigorous identification of its potentiality. The focus of project design is an explicit innovation strategy. Projects are evaluated with regard to the significance of their potentiality and the degree of consolidation of their innovation.

IPDP is fully compatible with the structure provided by the Logical Framework and related techniques. Its purpose is to provide contents to such structures.

 Go to Top 


Copyright 1997, Innovative Development Institute
updated: 07/12/99