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Visioning

Aim of the tool
To have a focused discussion around people’s dreams or shared vision for the future of a project or other activity. It also helps to generate a common goal, to give hope and encouragement and promote creative thinking and passion

When to use it?
When you want to analyse opportunities or define a vision, usually after the situation analysis and before developing your theory of change

What is Visioning?

It is a technique that is used to assist a group of stakeholders in developing a shared vision of the future. Visioning generates a common goal, hope, and encouragement; offers a possibility for fundamental change; gives people a sense of control; gives a group something to move toward; and generates creative thinking and passion.

With problem solving, a group can become mired in technical details and political problems and may even disagree on how to define the problem. Problem solving, although useful, rarely results in any fundamental change.

A problem is something negative to move away from, whereas a vision is something positive to move toward. In moving toward a vision, you will be likely to encounter a number of problems to solve.

Why develop Visioning?

Visioning - Step by step

  • Ask participants to describe what they want the intervention to have achieved in the future —in say 3 years or 5 years from now. You could ask them:

              - What would be the ideal situation for you? What are the main changes that you would want to see in 5 years?”

              - To complete the sentence “I know that my vision for this situation has been achieved when I see……” 

Step1: Context

  • Imagine that a documentary team is coming to your organisation and you would like to show them the progress made by all the stakeholders.

             - What would you show them?

             - Which activities will they see?

             - What have been the achievements?

             - How have the organisations been collaborating with each other?

             - Which institutions, paradigms have changed?

             - Have attitudes changed?

             - Have the livelihoods of the people improved?

Step 2a: Your own visioning

  • List the elements of your vision individually on a piece of paper— the concrete things you see in the future, the things you dreamt about.
  • Do not talk to your neighbours about your vision

Step 2b:Sharing your vision

  • Go into groups of two. Agree on the 5 most important concrete elements of your vision and mark the two most important ones
  • Share your ideas in plenary!

Step 3: Grouping of ideas

  • Which ideas go together because they have the same intention, the same direction?

Step 4: Naming the vision elements

  • Give a short name to each of the groups of ideas that will form the vision
  • What is the common direction, the key elements of these ideas?
  • Come up with names that capture the elements of the vision

 

Examples

Figure 1: A woman's progress towards realising her ideal future, India

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