PALS Toolkit: SNV Ethiopia

PALS Toolkit December 2017 produced for SNV Gender and Youth Empowerment in horticulture Markets (GYEM) project 2016-2018 funded by Comic Relief.

Overview Guides

PALS in GYEM Overview
Fun with a Serious Purpose: Facilitation Guide

Catalyst Toolkit

Champions from Timret November 2016 show their favourite catalyst tool.

Tool 1 Soulmate Visioning
Tool 2 Vision Journey
Tool 3 Change Leadership Map
Tool 4 Happy Family Tree

Livelihood Strengthening

Champions from Meki Batu show their Livelihood Management Calendars.

Tool 5 Challenge Action Tree
Tool 6 Livelihood Management Calendar

For reports including details of how facilitation was actually done in practice see:

For on the GYEM project see:

Happy Family Happy Coffee

This Happy Family Happy Coffee Toolkit presents an integrated curriculum using the GALS (Gender Action Learning for Sustainability) methodology as a participatory framework of proven tools and facilitation techniques through which the technical content of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) can be delivered. It has so far been used and developed in:

Click here for:

Happy Family Happy Coffee Indonesia Powerpoint

Happy Family Happy Coffee Indonesia pdf from Powerpoint

What is the ‘Happy Family Happy Coffee’ Toolkit?

The Toolkit contains resources to implement a practical training methodology that:

  • Delivers technical training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) on coffee production
  • Empowers women, youth and men farmers to implement and fully benefit from GAPs
  • Improves relationships and trust between farmers, companies, traders and service providers


  • using the diagram tools and participatory facilitation techniques of Gender Action Learning for Sustainability (GALS) methodology

The curriculum can be used and adapted by staff in coffee companies, cooperatives and service organisations and in training of promoter farmers to:

  • improve relationships with farmers through increasing understanding of their needs and trust
  • enable more cost-effective targeting and better focus, understanding and implementation of technical trainings
  • improve planning in farm households to promote self-reliance and increase their benefits from coffee
  • promote inclusion and empowerment of women and youth in quality coffee production ie the key workers in the sector for the future.

Why integrated curriculum of GALS and GAPs?

Coffee companies, cooperatives and service organisations have been delivering technical trainings in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) now for many years – often to the same farmers – in order to obtain supply of the qualities and quantity of coffee that is appropriate for their particular markets. However experience has shown that on both quality and quantity the impacts of such trainings has often been lower than anticipated or justified by the costs.

The reasons for this are complex but include:

  • market price fluctuation leading to uncertainty of rewards to farmers of the production changes they are required to make and the efforts and costs involved in improving quality compared to existing coffee techniques
  • farmer dependence on/demand for inputs of equipment and eg chemicals and seedlings because they have no savings or financial planning skills
  • farmer short-term needs for cash leading to sideselling on the informal market to pay for eg health treatment and school fees
  • lengthy curricula that contain a lot of standard information that farmers either already know (often better than the trainer) and/or is not applicable to their specific needs. Leading to low attendance in any training that does not deliver immediate material incentives
  • curricula that are too complicated for farmers to understand – even pictures are often unclear – and delivered in a boring lecturing style apart from practicals on demo plots
    competition from other crops that are, or appear to be, more profitable than coffee.

Key in the above are also gender and generational inequalities within farming households that mean that the women and youth who often do the most of the work fail to see any benefits because they do not control the land or income from coffee. In coffee production in Uganda and Tanzania, research has shown that unequal land ownership and division of labour are key causes of poor coffee quality and productivity. Women do at least 70% of the work. However because men own the coffee land and trees, they also control the income. They use much of the income for alcohol and women in town – an estimated 70% men in Western Rwenzoris and Kilimanjaro were doing this according to research with men themselves. Women have to ‘steal’ coffee to pay for school fees and food for their children. The rush for each person to get the coffee before the other leads to selling of unripe and bad quality coffee. Attempts by coffee traders to improve coffee quality have very limited success. Even if men get training, they leave the work to their wives. Women and youth prefer to divert their labour and money to crops where they can control more of the income.

Happy Family Happy Coffee Curriculum: Key Features

The Happy Family Happy Coffee curriculum consists of six 2-3 hour planning sessions ideally delivered before the coffee season starts in order to provide the basis for other practical GAPs sessions as required.

The overarching planning framework is:

Happy Family Happy Coffee Vision Calendar: this framework diagram places the coffee activities calendar that is normally part of GAPs in the context of progress towards a happy family happy coffee vision from the current state of production. It combines activity planning together with incomes and cash flows from coffee and other economic activities so that farmers can plan in advance how they and others in their households can meet the work demands and costs for coffee production. Gender and youth issues are mainstreamed together with discussion of environmental opportunities and challenges. This uses a pre-printed A3 sheet for a wall calendar and is the main training material given to farmers. It is given to farmers after they have completed Tool 4 to and progressively added to as part of the technical GAPs sessions.

The curriculum of five other tools is delivered in the following order to build up this framework:

Tool 1: Happy Coffee Visioning: places coffee in the context of a wider vision for happiness and success in the family and community increases commitment to good quality coffee. It introduces discussion of what is meant by coffee quality, environmental issues and relationships in the household.

Tool 2: Happy Family Vision Journey : teaches basic planning skills and places coffee even more firmly as a significant contribution to family development towards a vision.

Tool 3: Increasing Coffee Incomes Challenge Action Tree: looks at the production (GAPs and environmental), marketing (including relationships with companies) and household (gender, youth, child labour, health and safety) challenges to increasing farmer incomes from coffee. It then asks farmers to identify what they see as solutions that they can implement themselves and make 10 change commitments. This enables companies to assess what farmers already know and can share with each other. This enables service providers to see where they need to add and/or correct information to make trainings much more cost-effective and focussed on what farmers really need to know. The same Challenge Action Tree tool is then used to frame each practical technical GAPs session to look in more detail at eg canopyy management etc.

Tool 4: Gender and Youth Family Balance Tree: looks in more detail at the middle household part of the Challenge Action Tree to analyse how division of labour within the household can be made more equitable and efficient, and how ownership, decision-making and expenditure can better reward those doing the work. This leads to increased cooperation and transparency between women and men and youth and older people in the household and reduction in wasteful expenditures, reducing for example the need for side selling.

Tool 5:_Change Leadership Map : identifies existing social networks through which GALS/GAPs messages can be delivered on a voluntary basis to disseminate both planning skills and technical information. This makes the job of company staff and promoter farmers easier.

These tools are reinforced by songs written by farmers.

Once the basic GALS skills have been established, the same GALS diagram tools can also be integrated in the same or subsequent years with more advanced business, environmental management and governance trainings, mainstreaming gender and youth, to increase their effectiveness and accessibility to different types of farmer.

The Curriculum uses fewer printed materials than most existing trainings the A3 Vision Calendar and a few selected advanced technical note sheets as required following the technical trainings. Each session includes participatory group discussion and individual drawing and writing in farmers’ own notebooks – these can be either subsidised as part of company branding or bought by farmers themselves as is the normal practice in GALS. Farmers continually review and track their own progress as a process of reflexive learning based on their own planning needs to feed into monitoring and evaluation systems for implementation of GAPs and also economic and social impact assessment.

The curriculum can be used and adapted by staff in coffee companies, cooperatives and service organisations and in training of promoter farmers to:

  • improve relationships with farmers through increasing understanding of their needs and trust
  • enable more cost-effective targeting and better focus, understanding and implementation of technical trainings
  • improve planning in farm households to promote self-reliance, reduce distress selling and increase their benefits from coffee
  • promote inclusion and empowerment of women and youth in quality coffee production ie the key workers and potential investors in the sector for the future.


Toolkit Contents

Indonesia HFHC overview

Indonesia HFHC Facilitation Guide

Indonesia HFHC Tool 1 Visioning

Indonesia HFHC Tool2 Vision Journey

Indonesia HFHC Tool 3 Increasing Coffee Incomes Challenge Action Tree

Indonesia HFHC Tool 4 Happy Family Tree

Indonesia HFHC Tool 5 Change Leadership Map 

Indonesia HFHC Tool 6 Multilane Vision Plan

Pictures from the ICC staff training

For further photos (high resolution) see:

Gender Concepts

Gender Justice or Gender Equity is:

The condition of fairness and equality of opportunity whereby gender is no longer a basis for discrimination and inequality of outcomes between people.

In a gender just society both women and men enjoy equal status, rights, levels of responsibility, and access to power and resources. This enables them to make their own informed, realisable and free life choices.


Those differences between women and men which are freely chosen and value-neutral.

Most ‘differences’ between men and women however, even where they may involve an element of choice (e.g. what to wear) are nevertheless embedded in structures of gender inequality. These generally ascribe lower value to women’s choices and perpetuate unequal access to power and resources.


Elimination of those differences which ascribe lower value to women’s choices and perpetuate unequal power and resources.

Also refers to those more limited areas where men’s choices and access to power and resources are limited.

A distinction is often made between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome to allow for the possibility that women and men may freely make different life choices.


The process through which women, who are currently most discriminated against, achieve gender equity.

This will include support for men to change those aspects of their behaviour, roles and privileges which currently discriminate against women.

The extent of current disadvantage and inequality means that women’s empowerment may require support by development agencies at household, community and macro levels.

For more on empowerment concepts Click here


Where women and men are both able to realise their full potential as economic, social and political actors, free from all gender discrimination, for empowerment of themselves, their families, their communities and global humankind. This includes affirmative action for women, and support for men to change those aspects of their behaviour, roles and privileges that currently discriminate against women. It is likely to include different types of support for women from different backgrounds depending on other dimensions of disadvantage, and at different levels.


Gender is a social construct and can be changed:

  • Biological sex differences are very few and are unimportant in terms of determining gender inequality.
  • Gender inequalities are socially determined
  • As social constructs gender inequalities can be changed

Gender means both women and men:

  • Discrimination based on gender affects both women and men adversely.
  • Addressing gender inequality to redress discrimination against both women and men requires actions by both women and men to challenge their existing attitudes, privilege and practice.
  • Nevertheless in the current situation gender inequality affects women moreadversely than men.
  • This justifies prioritizing attention to those inequalities which affect women.


The GAMEchange Gender Justice framework combines two levels of analysis and action:

Participatory Visioning and Road Journeys:

Women and men at all levels: individual, household, community and organisational level do their own visioning and planning to achieve these visions. This is within an overall context of discussion about gender justice where peer pressure tends to reinforce certain messages and discourage certain other types of behaviour. This is done through using GALS visionning and followed by complementary diagram tools serve to deepen the gender analysis over time.

Meta-framework of women’s rights and CEDAW:

The CEDAW framework forms the basis of the organisational vision and informs which sorts of actions and strategies emerging from the participatory process are supported. Those actions and trends which reinforce CEDAW eg changes in women’s property rights, decision-making etc are erinforced. Those which infringe on women’s rights eg increased male control of decision-making, expenditure on alcoholism or prostitution etc are discouraged.

The CEDAW framework is used rather than other gender frameworks because it is very concrete and the CEDAW convention has been signed by most governments of countries where gender processes are being implemented. This means that gender cannot be dismissed as an external imposition.

In GAMEchange processes so far there has been little difference between the visions at community-level and CEDAW, even in the very first workshops. It has been observed that organisational staff are often more conservative than women and men in communities using the GALS tools.

Facilitation Process

In PALS, the best facilitation is ‘from the back’ where the facilitator empowers participants to express themselves. PALS facilitation skills are very different from those taught in many other ‘facilitation’ trainings, but the approach leads to more effective and sustainable change outcomes. Through encouraging participants to speak and asking a few pointed questions, good facilitation manages to arrive at a point where most of the important issues come from participants themselves. Participants are then in turn able to facilitate similar activities without external support when they go back home.

This requires practice and experience – and often a leap of faith to let things take their course – and is hard even for those trained in many other participatory awareness-raising and training techniques. It also requires intense observation of the participatory process, and use of some key techniques to increase participation

    • Pairwise discussion:start each session/day with a participatory pairwise recapitulation of the previous session, or questions on perceptions and expectations of the meeting while others are arriving.
    • Start from the back or with minority participants in all feedback (e.g. men first if they are poor and fewer in number) to show respect for those who are likely to be less confident and to promote inclusion.

Group microphone

     introduce some sort of tool such as a stick or a banana to represent a microphone. It is only the person holding this tool who is allowed to talk.

  • Applause and respect for everyone at all times through a culturally relevant show of appreciation following each presentation.
  • No political correctness No one should feel they cannot ask questions or say things which they feel – provided this is done in a real spirit of wanting to understand and does not undermine the free expression of others.
  • Make sure everyone has contributed: at the end of each stage anyone who has not spoken or drawn on the diagram must be given the ‘microphone’ or pen and encouraged to comment/draw on the diagram.

Songs And Dance

PALS participants develop new participatory songs and dances.Songs and drama are used to subvert existing cultural stereotypes, explore changes and experiment with different, new ways of doing things in future. As well as being enjoyable energisers, songs and dances reinforce gender messages and are a fun way of disseminating the methodology. The aim is that men and women should go away humming a Gender Balance Song, singing it in the shower or while working. In Vuasu they are registering their song themes as mobile phone ring tones.

Most sessions start and/or end with some culturally appropriate event such as a song or a dance which reinforces the basic philosophy and gender justice principles of the particular tool or issue that is the subject of that particular meeting. The aim is not a polished performance to raise awareness, but to directly engage participants in identifying and rehearsing changes. There are no professional actors or singers, no one leads and everyone participates.

Participatory Drama

Community theatre is commonly used as a means of gender awareness-raising. Role plays are also part of most gender capacity building and workshops. However, there are a range of interesting innovations in participatory drama which could be more fully incorporated for:

  • Capacity-building workshops
  • Multistakeholder negotiation
  • Monitoring and Evaluation and Impact Assessment
  • Dissemination

The aim of participatory drama is not polished theatre, but to directly engage participants in identifying and rehearsing changes, and new ways in which women and men can relate to each other, and new ways of addressing inequality.



The underlying framework for all GALS processes is the ‘Road Journey’ or ‘Road Map’ change planning tool. This is of two basic types that can be combined or done separately:

  • Vision Journeys look to the future. This is generally the first Vision Journey to inspire with change to the future.
  • Achievement Journeys assess lessons from the past. This is generally used as part of a later review where it is combined with planning the next vision journey to the future.

The basic Journey framework can be adapted to any issue.

Common steps:
  1. Vision or dream: what is the underlying longer-term purpose of the journey?
  2. Baseline: current and/or past situation and joining the circles with the road.
  3. SWOT: Opportunities (10+ top of the road) and Challenges (full risk analysis bottom of the road). Things more controllable (strengths and weaknesses) go closer to the road. Things that cannot be controlled go further from the road. Finally identification of new opportunities so that opportunities still are more than risks. Or possibly abort plan.
  4. Milestones: Vision Journeys have medium term future target should be motivating, then 2-4 milestones the first of which should be after 1 month so that action starts immediately. Achievement Journey has past milestones.
  5. Actions to go from target to target.
  6. Journeys are tracked over time to assess progress, and also reasons for progress or lack of it.
Key considerations in design/adaptation:

a) whose journey is it? individual? household? collective? organisational?

b) what is the question/purpose/vision? how to be clear so things do not become too broad to be useful as a plan?

c) how many lanes? is it a simple vision journey or a multilane highway?

d) when should the milestones and targets be? Should these be decided by the participant? Or is there a specific organisational/project framework eg loan cycle that has to be accommodated? Is it a calendar with monthly targets?

Types of vision journey 

Vision Journeys

The first Vision Journey (individual) is a simple one-lane plan to achieve one or more elements of a bigger vision.

Livelihood Vision Calendars

A business plan with month by month breakdown of inputs and outputs.
How to Do It : Coffee Vision Calendar

  • Leadership Vision Journey

    A plan to become a leader (tool forthcoming)

  • Organisational Multilane Vision Journey

    This is a core GALS monitoring tool. It combines targets and plans on the core intervention targets (eg livelihoods, coffee production, health), gender balance and leadership on one diagram that is tracked over time.
    How to Do It : Multilane Vision Journey for coffeeRoad Journeys are progressively refined using other types of diagram tools that are adapted and sequenced in specific ways, depending on the nature of the issue and process. Each of these diagram tools can also be used individually and adapted in many different ways for analysis, planning and tracking.

  • For video examples see:



Dinna’s Story, Tanzania
Dinna’s Story

Dinna’s Journey

Dinna’s Leadership Vision

Masika Elizabeth’s Multilane Highway, Uganda


Hawa’s Coffee Calendar

Overall Monitoring Framework

Top Lane: Vision Journey

Middle Lane: Gender Balance Tree

Bottom Lane Empowerment Leadership Map

Organisational Planning

 Organisational Vision Journey, Kabarole Resource Centre, Uganda



Circle maps (also known as Venn or chapati diagrams) show the common and distinct features between different elements represented as overlapping circles. They are used for analysis of interrelationships and power relations. Examples of Circle Maps include:

    • Empowerment Leadership Map

      looks at support networks and power relations to plan and track peer sharing.
      How to Do It : Empowerment Leadership Map

    • Market Map

      market map to look at possibilities for market diversification and increasing gender balance in markets: To download details of how to use this tool for coffee.
      How to Do It : Coffee Market Map

    • Institutional governance map

      institutional governance map to look at inter-organisational power relations and how they can be changed.
      How to Do It :(forthcoming)

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Trees start from a trunk representing an issue or an institution like a household or community. Inputs are then shown as roots and outputs as branches. In GALS trees also have fruits or concrete action commitments. They may also have circular linkages from branches to roots to show cycles of cross-fertilisation.

Types of trees include:

    • Gender Balance Tree:

      The Gender Balance Tree identifies gender inequalities in work contribution and expenditure benefits in the household and the changes needed for gender balance to make the tree grow straight.
      How to Do It : Gender Balance Tree

    • Livelihood Tree:

      Livelihood Trees are a ‘snapshot’ planning tool to examine existing costs and income structure for particular economic activities and how incomes can be increased through changing costs and/or expenditures to enable reinvestment and savings.
      How to Do It : Household Coffee Tree

    • Challenge Action Tree:

      Challenge Action Tree (an action-oriented adaptation of a ‘problem solution tree) examines the causes of challenges, potential solutions to reach a vision and action commitments needed by individuals to move forward.
      How to Do It : Increasing Incomes Challenge Action Tree

Impact Tree

    Any of the above trees can be quantified over time as a monitoring tool.


Gender Balance Tree

Business Tree

Challenge Action Tree

Impact Tree


Diamonds are used to:

  • deepen visions through establishing locally relevant SMART indicators
  • investigate extent and patterns of differentiation within communities and/or groups in those visions and indicators
  • rapid participatory impact assessment
  • establish locally-relevant priorities for change and set targets

With experienced facilitation they are a good tool to use with very large numbers of people. In the images below from Ivory Coast gender diamonds were used with 350 women and men, many of whom had not been to a meeting before and could not read and write. The groups quickly learned to self-facilitate with a small number of people who were doing the exercise for the first time leading and in communication with the main facilitator. All the group diamonds were quantified and fed back to the plenary. But because of the gender imbalance – many more women than men – there was no bringing together in to a ‘parent diamond’ (see below.


It is very important that the Diamond is self-facilitated by the groups. Apart from giving instructions on the main steps and ensuring everyone is participants, the facilitator/s only intervene at the end through posing certain questions and summing up.

1) Individual reflection: participants identify what criteria they think characterise extreme opposites of an issue or spectrum eg poverty, empowerment, violence. They draw these extremes on a set number of colour-coded cards.

2)Sharing: participants form groups of people as relevant to the issue and share their cards. This is often done as a game like charades where one person comes up and shows the card, the others first have to guess what it means. Then those with the same issue/criteria hand their cards to the person at the front. That person sits down and the next person comes up until all cards are finished.

3) Voting: having heard everyone else’s ideas, participants are then given a certain number of votes. They come up and confidentially put a mark on the cards they want to vote on. The difference between the number of cards and the number of votes for any issue can be taken as a rough indicator of changes in attitude/awareness as a result of the exercise.

4) Ranking: the votes are then counted and placed on the relevant level of the diamond: best likes at the top, medium likes towards the middle, medium dislikes middle below the line, worst dislikes at the bottom.

5) Plenary: the groups present their group diamond. As they do so they remove the card from their own drawing and, with discussion with the rest of the participants, place these cards either on their side or in the middle of the ‘parent diamond’.

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Then they progressively move inwards to obtain a scale towards  the average situation or majority of a population as the middle of a diamond.  Then the numbers of people within each band scale are plotted as before, after and/or target situations. This is then used as the basis for discussion of how the situation of those at the bottom of the diagram can be substantially improved.

Types of diamonds

Diamonds may be of many different types including, but by no means only:

Poverty diamond

Looks at whether most people are above or below the poverty line as identified by a community, then how many people are very rich or very poor, what criteria are used and why. This can also focus on particular dimensions of poverty eg food security.

!!Insert from KRC, LEAP and USAID

Gender Diamonds

Used as part of GALS, but also generating gender visions and indicators in PALS and FALS. These can focus generally on perceptions that women and men have of ’empowerment’, happy  families’, gender justice/empowerment’.

For discussion see:

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend


  • Empowerment diamond

Looks at whether most people consider themselves, or could be considered, powerful, how many people are very powerful or very powerless, what criteria are used and why.

See examples from Pakistan:

Kash Empowerment Diamonds

  • Household equality diamond

Looks at concepts of household equality, where the most households are above or below this ideal, the criteria used and the numbers and characteristics of ideal households and very bad households.

See examples from Pakistan:

Equity Diamond Pakistan

Taraqee Diamonds

Or the Diamond Tool can be used to look in detail at specific issues like violence, property rights, decision-making and other dimensions of CEDAW.

  • Violence diamond

Starts by examining the types of domestic, caste or community violence to which most people are subject. Then it looks at what an ideal state would be, and the very worst cases. Then the incidence can be quantified. For violence like domestic violence where even women suffering from it may deny its existence it may be best to start with extreme cases and then move up to awareness of generalised levels of violence or harassment.

See discussion of CEDAW Diamonds

Leadership Diamonds

Used in Tanzania coffee sector.