Friday, June 25, 2010
The World Bank is actually beginning to produce readable documents! Some time ago, they started a newssheet called People, Spaces, Deliberation which is sent out bi-weekly. It aims to explore the link between public opinion and governance issues – and its publications look in detail at the communications process. Most often it is outsider practitioners who contribute. Today’s issue has a piece on appreciative inquiry on which I had downloaded recently a couple of google books – but to which I had not paid proper attention. I found a good short summary of the AI approach in this paper -
I hadn’t appreciated that it rejects the “problem-orientation” approach – choosing to identify and work on the positives of an organisation. This took me back to discussions we had in the late 1970s when those of who developed Strathclyde Regions’s deprivation strategy anguished that our selection of areas of multiple deprivation could compound the negative forces at work.
Google scholar actually gave me a 300 page book Locating the energy for change – an introduction to appreciative inquiry; Charles Elliott (1999). Incidentally you can sign on to the WB newssheet by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
I've chosen this photo of one of our sessions in 2006 in Atbashi, north Kyrgyzstan - partly as a homage to those who are suffering in that country at the moment and partly as an illustration of the process of dialogue and change.