Why use Visioning?

To bring stakeholders together and assist the group to develop a shared vision of the future by asking them where they are now and where they can realistically expect to be in the future.

What is Visioning?

A participatory tool, visioning is typically used as the first step in the planning process (after the problem has been identified and before the detailed planning and decision-making process)

How do we do it?

Stage 1:

State the Objectives of the Workshop

Select your sponsor and set expectations

Stage 2:

Create Working Groups

Create mixed stakeholder groups of six or seven participants each. Ensure that the groups are gender-balanced. If it becomes clear that some stakeholders are not participating effectively in discussions, rearrange the groups to try to overcome the problem.

Stage 3:

Describe State A (Where are we now?)

Explain to each working group that the aim is to create a list of keywords describing the current situation, then to use the keywords to develop a brief description of State A. The list of keywords and the description will be presented by a group member in a plenary feedback session.

The facilitator should invite individuals to think, on their own, of five keywords that describe the current situation. The facilitator should then go round the members of each group in turn to supply one word, not previously said, to be written on a sticky note and placed on the flipchart or an area of wall. Once all the words have been recorded, the group should be asked to suggest how the keywords could be grouped to describe different dimensions of the current situation. These groupings of keywords can then be used as a basis for a brief description, in a few sentences, of State A. The different descriptions of State A are then presented in a plenary session.

One of the facilitators highlights the similarities and differences between the descriptions, and assists the workshop to reach a consensus on State A.

Stage 4:

Describe State B (Where do we want to be?)

Ask participants to continue working in the same groups and describe State B, using keywords to arrive at a brief description, and to be ready to present this in a plenary session. As in stage 4 of the picture method, facilitators should encourage participants to imagine they have the authority and power needed to implement their preferred solutions to the problems identified in the description of State A.

Each group is then asked to give a detailed presentation of its vision (State B) in a plenary session. One of the facilitators should attempt to draw out the similarities and differences among the presentations, and assist the workshop to reach a consensus on the vision of the future.