Through our work we aim to generate
understanding, energy and commitment to projects. We have a strategic
approach to our work focusing on what is needed to deliver real
We have five key principles to our approach:
out to local people
right tools for the job
Understanding the context
We recognise the importance of getting to know an issue or area before we start
work. We put time aside for meeting stakeholders, learning about their concerns,
understanding the context to the work and mapping existing resources.
Good communication generates commitment to a project and reduces the possibility
of conflict. We ensure that all people connected to a project receive clear,
engaging information throughout its life and have chances to inform and feedback
on the processes we use.
Going out to local people
We are successful at gathering information from people because we go out to
reach them. We map local networks and gather views in shops, libraries, clubs
and parks. For marginalised groups we design tailor-made, supported processes
to address their needs, like visual tools for people with low levels of literacy.
Valuing people is central to the Pathways' ethos and is evident at all levels
in our work: from thanking people, to making our events fun, to ensuring
agencies can hear difficult messages. We respect different perspectives and
value diversity. We credit and use the skills of local people and this adds
richness to our work.
The right tools for the job
A different package of tools is needed for each project, depending on the information
sought and the needs of the target groups. Some tools are in-depth, like
community conferences, others are fast, visual and fun. However all our tools
aim to generate thoughtful responses that support strategic planning whilst
also fostering participation. Ultimately we seek to give people a powerful
and creative voice on the issues that affect their lives.
''We give people the chance to express
their views powerfully and creatively, using tools that bring
communities together and foster shared goals.''
Jane Whitaker, Pathways Director
Our tool kit
We specialise in tools which generate
specific, personalised information. This is exactly the kind of
qualitative data that is missed by more standard approaches.
Pathways researchers are skilled at this work and help people
to capture experiences and reflect on the learnings contained within
them. We help people focus on what is important to them
and what they can contribute to making change in the future.
Tools we use range from visioning events, to partnership building
conferences, to on-the-street participative tools:
tools to reach decisions
a large group
groups to discuss issues
to investigate policy options
to gather information about a
to measure agreement
to explore issues
lines, wheel barrows and giant