A Venn diagram

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Smart mobility, Smart governance, Smart economy, Smart environment, Smart living, Smart people
The Venn diagram is a visual depiction of key stakeholders, institutions, organisations and individuals, their effectiveness and their relationship with the local community or other groups. It can be improvised and can be used for many purposes, for example: assessing the effectiveness of existing organisations; understanding the relationship and coordination among the organisations; monitoring and evaluating a project. The Venn diagram provides a basis for discussion on the roles and significance of various stakeholders, institutions, organisations or individuals to the region and the levels of communication between them. It provides a clear picture of the existing stakeholders, institutions, organisations or individuals, their strengths and weaknesses. It leads to mutual learning. The participants, both the insiders and the outsiders, would have better insight into the functioning of the existing organisations.

Before meeting

Before hosting a meeting to execute this technique, you will need to prepare for it. First, you need to choose the topic of the exercise. It can either be an overview of your region in general or only specific categories (education, health...) that will be examined. Then, find people to be involved in the meeting: find the key informants and ask them to choose a place for doing the exercise. Let the key informants be from different sections of the community. Also find participants who are aware of the functions of the organisation and who have availed services from such organisations. Mixed groups are better as they allow for a broader range of perspectives. Alternatively, groups divided along gender, age, well-being and caste lines can be compared. Finnaly, prepare circles of different sizes and big canvases (the exercise needs to be facilitated on the ground for better participation and discussion). It helps to know to what extent the existing organisations would assist in carrying out the activities proposed under the project. Also prepare markers.

Meeting execution

To get a full effect out of this exercise you are going to assess the effectiveness of the key stakeholders, institutions, organisations and individuals firstly, and then assess the relationship among them.i) Assessing the effectiveness: Explain the purpose of the exercise. Make the procedure of doing the exercise clear; we are trying to assess the importance of the organisation as perceived by the community, their effectiveness in terms of the services extended and the reasons for effectiveness or ineffectiveness. Perceptions about the organisations and their effectiveness are ascertained through visual diagrams. First, the size of the ‘circle’ indicates the importance perceived. Second, the distance between the circle and the community indicates the effectiveness in rendering the service. Ask the participants to identify the key stakeholders, institutions, organisations and individuals that are relevant, either in general or for a specific issue. It is desirable to select a field and ask them to list those that cater to their needs. This would help them to systematically think. Note down the names in each field (make a table).Facilitate the participants to draw a big circle or square which represents the region. Select key stakeholder, institution, organisation or individuals from the list enumerated by the participants. Ask them whether they consider the stakeholder they have chosen to be ‘more important’ or ‘less important’. If they say ‘more important’ ask them to select a big circle; and if they say less important, let them choose a smaller circle. Don’t let one participant to dominate. Having chosen the circle, facilitate them to position the circle from the ‘central circle’, which represents the region. The distance between the central circle (the region) and the selected bigger or smaller circle indicates the effectiveness of the services rendered by the chosen stakeholder. The longer the distance between the region and the chosen circle, the lesser is the effectiveness of it. It should be noted, at this juncture, that the size of the circle can mean the importance while the distance can mean the accessibility. Allow them to relocate the circles if they wish so, in the course of time. Choose the next on your list and repeat the same for all the organisations. Do not jump; do not rush. Give the participants enough time to discuss, debate and come to a conclusion about an organisation. Do not suggest. At the same time try to see that each organisation is objectively assessed and reported. On completion of the exercise, ask one of the participants to explain the exercise and the outcome to fellow participants and others who have gathered around. Don't forget to copy down the exercise with all the details.ii) Assessing the relationship: Coordination among the organisations functioning in rural areas results in a provision of cost- effective services to the people on time and has a better impact on them. Ask the participants to identify key stakeholders, institutions, organisations and individuals responsible for decision making in a community or organisation. Ask them to describe the degree of contact and overlap between them in terms of decision making. Overlap occurs if one organisation asks the other to do something or if they cooperate with each other in some activity. Ask the participants to draw circles to represent each stakeholder, institution, organisation and individual, whereby the size of the circles indicates their importance or scope. Circles are arranged in such a way that separate circles represent no contact between them while touching circles indicate that there is coordination between them. A small overlap indicates some degree of cooperation while a large overlap reflects considerable coordination. Discuss the outcome of the exercise and its implications for further activities.

After meeting

After the meeting, repeat the exercise with another set of participants for cross-checking and triangulation and then analyse and discuss the results.
Town, Municipality, Region
Recurring events., 60 min or more (depends on the number of categories discussed).
Key informants (each for each category) and 15-20 participants (can also be 3-5).
Moderator skills required, moderator knowledge required.
Sector: Universal method