We suggest you review a few points with all participants before the mapping begins.
- The questions they will use to map the impact pathways. Ensure that these questions are not prescriptive.
- The differences between changes (short term), outcomes (medium term), and impacts (longer term) as the structure of the impact pathways and the basis for the impact pathway map.
- The difference between actual/observed changes, desired changes, and anticipated changes.
- Ensure the causal links between the activities and changes are clear and justified.
- The importance of identifying changes in various dimensions of sustainability.
While it may be easier to talk about the positive changes of an innovation, it is also important to discuss negative changes and the system blockages that prevent change. Although there are many ways to do this, you may want to set aside a reasonable amount of time to ask specifically about the negative effects or changes at the end of each breakout group session.
It is important to reinforce that your impact pathway maps represent the evolution of changes driven by innovation through a holistic and comprehensive view of sustainability. The organizer(s) and facilitator(s) should ensure that the time available in the workshop allows for in-depth reflection on the impact pathways, relying on the facilitators to manage time during breakout sessions. For this reason, once the most important changes have been identified, facilitator(s) may want to limit the discussion to the top 5 to 10 changes, to go as in-depth as possible when analysing the pathway of each change.