Thank you for your encouragement and guidance. We believe the SlumKit has potential to be of positive change through the process of creation and subsequent use. While we have some established relationships, we would really like to reach out and connect with all groups and contexts.
Thank you for joining us on our journey...and happy holidays to you too!
We have a few locations in mind at the moment. We feel it would be very beneficial to pilot the cards in different contexts at the same time to find differences in process and development. This would allow for a more diverse and robust tool. It would be very interesting (and feasible we feel) to try it out simultaneously in African, Asian and South American contexts. We have formed solid contacts in Kenya, Brazil and Vietnam for example.
We are of course very open to suggestions from you and the wider openIDEO community.
Where do you feel we could make a positive difference? Is there a certain city or country you have in mind?
Thank you for your questions! Here are our responses...
1. What information do you have about whether local organisations will use or want the kits? - The response on openIDEO has been quite positive. To date we have been contacted by local organisations in Kenya, Vietnam, France and Brazil to name just a few. All of the local organisations have expressed interest in developing a Kit specific to their site, context & community with us. This is how we hoped the process to develop. Our goal is not to create a 'one-size-fits-all' kit for all urban communities and distribute it, rather that we share our process and collaborate with local organisations and communities to CREATE A KIT FOR EACH COMMUNITY. This ensures that each kit made is relevant for the specific context and community. By developing a kit with a local organisation and community we feel we can guarantee they will want to use it in their activities as they will be not only local experts, but experts in using the kit and understanding its strengths and limitations.
2. How are the cards are intended to be used? - The cards can be used in a broad range of contexts and with various methods. They can be a mobilisation and communication tool within groups. For example, members of the community could use them to discuss priorities and activities together. Then the community members could use the cards as visual props and anchors to structure a conversation with the city planning office. In this way they are a communication tool and an interface between members of a group and also between different groups. Some practical examples of the kit in practice include: - Citizen Dialogues - Visual Planning Tool in a public space. eg. in a community centre - City planning meeting - Calendar planning meetings - Writing a community charter - Making a list of priorities for a community - Creating a timeline together. - Educating new members of the community - Creating neutral ground between decision makers and community members
3. Facilitators and intermediaries - who becomes the human interface? - We hope the process of creating the kit alongside local organisations builds the confidence and competence in the local community so that they become the default facilitators and intermediaries. As there are many different ways to use the tool, we hope that they will also develop their own practices and processes that work for their local community. If they are active in making the tool, they will understand it better and be able to teach others. Of course we will lend a helping hand and share our knowledge and experiences too!
4. How will these conversations link to community action? - STEP 1 - Making the tool - allows the community to create a living list of ideas, actions, elements and priorities. This process is very useful as it encourages the creation of a common language, allows for multiple perspectives and is very active. - STEP 2 - Using the tool - When the tool is created, those who have been active in the process can begin to facilitate conversations with other local stakeholders and members of the community. Simple language and meaningful icons create a structure for conversations with a group. These conversations can lead to mobilisation and action within a group. The kit becomes a mobilising tool. - STEP 3 - Sharing the tool - When the group is ready to talk to other stakeholders, they can share what they know with urban decision makers for example. The kit then acts as a visual interface. - STEP 4 - Maintaining the tool - When action has started the kit can be used as a reference or checklist for action items. As progress is made and the needs of the community changes, the kit can be reviewed, edited and updated to reflect the needs of the community.
The kit creates space for positive conversations to take place. It creates a structure that is accessible and understandable for all. If it is created, used, shared and updated by the community it will be relevant for many years to come. The kit allows space for meaningful communication, so that the community can discuss, plan, create and take action together!