Diagram Tools GAMEchange Methodology Journeys


Journeys are a strategic planning and assessment ‘road map’ diagram to plan or assess change over time. They are the underlying framework for all GALS processes, used in many different contexts from individual level to very large collective planning processes.

Journeys are 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

Vision Journey Step 1 Vision
1: Vision or dream

what is the underlying longer-term purpose of the journey?

Vision Journey Step 2 Current Baseline
2: Current Baseline

current and/or past situation and joining the circles with the road.

Vision Journey
3: Opportunities and challenges

Opportunities: 10+ opportunities top of the road – the more you put the more likely you are to succeed and keep positive.
Challenges: a full risk analysis at the bottom of the road so that you can address or avoid them.
Analysis: Things more controllable (individual strengths and weaknesses) go closer to the road. Things that cannot be controlled (contextual opportunities and threats) go further from the road.
Balance the road: finally identify new opportunities so that opportunities still are more than risks. Or possibly abort plan.

Vision Journey
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.

Vision Journey Step 6 Track and Share
5: Action Plan

to go from target to target

Vision Journey
6: Track and share

Journeys are tracked over time to assess progress, and also reasons for progress or lack of it.

Adaptation questions
  1. Whose journey is it? individual? household? collective? organisational?
  2. What is the question/ purpose/ vision? be clear so things do not become too broad to be useful as a plan.
  3. How many lanes? is it a simple vision journey or a multi-lane highway?
  4. 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?

Look carefully at distinctive GAMEchange facilitation guidelines

  1. Can be done as an individual or in large participatory and multi-stakeholder workhops
  2. Make sure no one draws for anyone else
  3. Facilitator should not hold the pen, participants should facilitate interactively
  4. Participants should write songs that go through the steps (see examples in videos above)
Key points
  1. Colour coding of vision (red) plan (green) current (black) risks and negative things (blue)
  2. Spend plenty of time on the opportunities and challenges. These are very important for success of the plan. At least 30 minutes.
  3. Do the target before the milestone steps to keep inspired, but you can adjust this to make it more or less ambitious after you have done the milestones.
  4. Make sure people understand to track and share so that they use their plan, not just put it in a cupboard and forget it. If they share with their family, they can do a family plan and put it on the wall so everyone can track progress.

Some Vision journey examples 

Simple Journeys

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

Some other vision journeys may also only have one vision. In this case e.g gender issues can be put as opportunities and challenges. Then included in the targets and actions.

Meki Batu champions
Multi-lane Vision Calendars

To plan complex issues like businesses, livelihoods or financial management where monthly targets are important, then vision journeys are drawn with as many lanes as necessary and monthly sections.

Organisational Multi-lane Highway

This is a core organisational 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.

1: Multi-lane Highway Framework
2: Top lane: Economic/physical targets
3) Middle Lane: necessary gender/social changes
4) Bottom lane: peer sharing and organisation
Circles Diagram Tools GAMEchange Methodology



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)

back to top

Empowerment Leadership Map

Diagram Tools Diamonds GAMEchange Methodology


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’.

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.