Inclusive Leadership for Empowerment Action and Democracy (iLEAD)

!!Under construction to be completed end March.

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. It helps everyone to develop their leadership potential and networks to progress together with others towards those changes.

What is Leadership?

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

  • Leadership is about developing inclusive, participatory democratic structures, not building personalities.
  • Leadership starts with visioning change and self-transformation
  • Commitment to social justice, including gender justice, are non-negotiable requirements of a leader
  • Good leadership means ‘deep listening’, learning from others and ability to inspire ‘from the back’
  • Everyone can – and should – be a leader of change, working with others to make the world around them a better place.

iLEAD focuses on movement-building at local community-level, developing skills, confidence and networks with women and men who are not yet ‘leaders’. Development of broad-based democratic skills and processes at community level builds then 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) adapting the same tools for collective visioning and decision-making within organisations for improve equity and communication at all levels

iLEAD distinctive features

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

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

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

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

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

iLEAD methodology

The iLEAD methodology adapts the same simple proven tools from the generic Participatory Action Learning System (PALS) empowerment methodology, to focus on collective visions for change and developing leadership skills and structures to move forward. It can be used after participants are familiar with other PALS processes: catalyst and/or livelihood strengthening and/or other more advanced tools.

The iLEAD methodology originated in use of PALS tools as part of group impact assessment of livelihoods projects in Uganda (Kabarole Research Centre and Hivos 2003) and review of women’s empowerment strategies in India (with ANANDI 2005). It was then further developed in Rwanda as part of Oxfam Novib’s WEMAN programme from 2012, with significant development in Tanzania from 2014 as part of Hivos work with Tanzania Coffee Partnership and in Ethiopia with SNV from 2016 as part of the Gender and Youth in Horticulture Markets (GYEM) project.

The Toolkit presented here is however the first time the various tools and experiences have been brought together as a systematic methodology.


iLEAD Tools

  1. !!Insert Overview presentation (interactive pdf)

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.

Six tools and facilitation process are introduced over 2 weeks 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 resifential/non-residential with half or full days.

The tools are facilitated in different ways depending on particular mixes of participants. 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 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:
What is leadership? Role Play and Diamond

Tool3 :
Leadership structures: Empowerment Movement Map

Tool 4:
Leadership strategies: Challenge Action Role Play and Tree

Tool 5:
Leadership plan: Vision Journey

Tool 6:
Growing the change movement: Leadership Flower.

Tool 4: 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.

Tool 5: Leadership Plan
Individual Vision Journey

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

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.