During my PhD research I co-developed a methodology in which participants are asked to visually represent their ideas about:
a. what a water infrastructure looks like now
b. what it should look like in the future (ideally)
c. what is needed to get from a. to b. (materials, agreements, etc) and what the participant's contribution could be in acquiring what is needed.
In my research the participants were local water users, water governing institutions, NGOs, etc. in the Upper East Region of Ghana and Midden-Delfland area of the Netherlands. The methodology was developed in close cooperation with these participants.
We ask that the answers to a. b. and c. are expressed visually; either in drawings or through use of collages. This has helped gain insight and understanding in each others ideas by limiting the use of words/expressions that are not familiar to all.
Though met with some initial hesitation, participants were quite happy to make their own visuals (as opposed to having sketch-artists, cartoonists, or using pre-made collages). The process of putting their own ideas to paper, helped them think the process through and helped gain clearer insight in what they "really" would want.
For more information see: www.yourScape.nl
For some extra information about my work see also two video's on YouTube:
---Part I: Introduction - www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5wwefdDLm0
--- Part II: Extension Agent explaining the approach to her colleagues- www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0avS4RTjUQ