!!Under construction to be completed with animations 2023.

GAMEchange iLEAD methodology uses PALS tools and facilitation process to help everyone to:

  • vision the changes they want to see in their communities, countries and wider world and their own leadership role/s in achieving those changes.
  • establish relationships and networks with others who can work together
  • examine the opportunities and challenges they face moving forward
  • develop individual and collective strategies to work towards that vision

A key element in the methodology is development of songs about leadership and movement building that can inspire everyone to vision and work for a better world. and be shared with others. See the example below in Swahili from Tanzania.

What is Leadership?

iLEAD builds on the principles of transformative leadership and distributed/participative/collaborative leadership.

  • Leadership is about developing inclusive, participatory democratic structures, not building ‘leading’ personalities or hierarchical organisations.
  • Everyone can – and should aspire and supported – be a leader of change, working with others to make the world around them a better place for all.
  • Good leadership means ‘deep listening’, learning from others and ability to inspire ‘from the back’. Not charging out in front hoping others will catch up.
  • Leadership starts with visioning individual change and self-transformation in attitudes and relationships with others.
  • Commitment to social justice, including commitment to gender, age-based and inter-ethnic justice, are non-negotiable requirements of all leaders.

i LEAD distinctive features


is for Inclusion, also inspiration, innovation and ??. i is written small, pushing and supporting from the back. Not a big self-important ‘I‘ always running out in front.


is for Leadership, also love, listening, learning, lively and …?


is for Empowerment, also empathy, enabling, enlightenment, enquiring, energetic and ….


is for Action, also awareness, attitude, achievement, accountability, advocacy and ….


is for Democracy, also dynamic, decisive, daring, determined, dependable, dreams and …?

iLEAD methodology

The iLEAD methodology originated in use of PALS tools as part of group impact assessment of livelihoods projects in:

  • Karabole Research Centre and Hivos, Uganda 2003: strategic visioning, vision journey, Challenge Action Tree and Participation Flower.
  • ANANDI, India 2005: advocacy and institutional mapping as part of review of women’s empowerment strategies.
  • Oxfam Novib’s WEMAN programme in Rwanda 2012, with Gisele Bundchen: leadership map and role play.
  • Hivos and Tanzania Coffee Partnership champions, Tanzania 2014 with Grace Murungi and TCP champions: leadership visioning, leadership diamond and governance mapping.
  • SNV Ethiopia 2016, collective visioning as part of the Gender and Youth in Horticulture Markets (GYEM) project with Sara de Smet.
  • Oxfam Novib Marriage is No Child’s Play project in Mali Niger and Pakistan with Katja Koegler developed an introductory process for movement-building.

The Toolkit presented here is however the first time the various tools and experiences have been brought together as a systematic methodology, and authored by Linda Mayoux based on these experiences.

The iLEAD methodology adapts the same simple proven tools from the generic Participatory Action Learning System (PALS) empowerment methodology, to focus on:

  • individual and collective visions for change.
  • developing participatory leadership skills within collaborative structures and networks.
  • individual and collective analysis of contextual opportunities, constraints and ways of addressing them.
  • individual and collective action plans for action learning over time as an ongoing movement.

i LEAD can be used after participants are familiar with other PALS processes: catalyst and/or livelihood strengthening and/or other more advanced tools. Participants should already have developed drawing and visual communication skills and participatory facilitation experience in their groups and networks.

iLEAD tools then consolidate these skills, developing skills, confidence and networks with women and men who are not yet ‘leaders’ as the basis for movement-building at local community-leve. Development of broad-based democratic skills and processes at community level builds then forms the basis for advocacy, accountability and change at policy-making and institutional levels.

iLEAD complements other methodologies for governance and organisational change and can be followed up by advanced leadership and communication skills. Including the PALS-based -based GOAL methodology (governance and organisational action learning, forthcoming 2021) adapting the same tools for collective visioning and decision-making within organisations for improve equity and communication at all levels

iLEAD Tools (draft July 2020)

Six tools and facilitation process are introduced with experienced community champions. Existing community leaders and development staff are trained in parallel to learn listening, support and documentation skills.   The programme can be adapted to the schedules of champions, leaders and staff as residential/non-residential with half or full days.

The tools are facilitated in different ways depending on particular mixes of participants. But it is suggested that they are introduced in two stages:

  • Stage 1 basic individual tools that are then practised for 3 months
  • Stage 2 collective review and movement-building tools to strengthen understanding and participatory facilitation skills.

The aim is for each set of participants to have a coherent and cumulative skill set and be able to share with others in different types of setting.

The methodology assumes that the lead facilitator is experienced and fully familiar with the generic PALS and GALSatScale diagrams, facilitation principles and techniques See: Fun with a Serious Purpose: PALS facilitation principles.

Mobile versions and animations of each tool together with suggestions for participatory facilitation and documentation are given for each tool through clicking on the links below. Peer sharing is mostly done informally based on the mobile versions and animations of the tools. Screen versions of the tools are also available for use in workshops. Print versions for each tool can also be downloaded.


Tool 1:
Why leadership? Visioning a better world

Tool 2 :
Leadership structures: Empowerment Movement Map

Tool 3:
Leadership plan: Vision Journey


Tool 4:
What is leadership? Leadership Diamond

Tool 5:
Leadership strategies: Challenge Action Role Play and Tree

Tool 6:
Growing the change movement: Leadership Flower.

Leadership Spider Map
Tool 1: Why leadership?
Visioning a better world and starting the songs

Looks at the vision for the changes people want to lead, and their potential role/s in that change.

Tool 2: Leadership structures Empowerment Movement Map and songs

Reviews peer sharing process of the champions in terms of people and institutions reached compared with their empowerment leadership map, with assessment of success and changes. Then maps further outreach.

Tool 3: Leadership Plan
Individual Vision Journey

An individual leadership plan with the individual leadership vision, target outreach, opportunities and challenges and timebound steps.

Tool 4: What is good leadership?
Leadership Role Play and Diamond

Looks at the characteristics of leaders and followers and what is good and bad practice to reach a consensus view on the appropriates roles and responsibilities of leaders and members within a group.

Tool 5: Leadership Strategies
Challenge Action Role Play and Tree

Discusses the challenges encountered and/or anticipated in peer sharing and movement building for different contexts: informal peer sharing, group sharing etc. And discusses potential solutions and actions to address these challenges.

Participation Flower 2
Tool 6: Growing the change movement: Leadership Flower and songs

Brings together the individual vision journeys as a flower diagram where each member’s journey is a flowerlet around a central stem. The flower and all the flowerlets need to flourish and send out nectar and pollen and increase the numbers of flowers.

Movement deepening and widening for advocacy and macro-level change

All the tools need to be periodically reviewed within groups and organisations. As part of a Multi-lane Highway focusing on change as the vision and aim, leadership and movement-building as the means.

Linking with government and policy makers where community members, particularly those who were poorest and most marginalised, present their tools and experience.