• Methodology and Development of PG


    Group of people bound by common values and needs to participate in governing with common space gather together to find out what and how to do further steps. It is a point of first assesment. What is our situation? What we want? What we can? Is our dream relevant for community? Are we cappable to turn it in reality and how? Basic caracteristic of this level of mobilisation is that you make decision to become from a dreamer a doer.



    All the steps are in the cyrcle, what means that it is continuous process. We apply this listed methods on different phases of our action and repeat them periodicaly or simultaneously. It helps in measuring progress and taking action for proces improvement.


    Start with assessment. It will give you clear picture of where you are and help you to put things on the ground. Why it is important? First of all, it will give you insight about your values, potentials, qualities as well as about weakness and things you have to improve.

    Assesment issues:

    a) Where you are?

    Idetify the place (what is your target spece/ describe it precisely as much as it is posible/ how big it is/ the condition of the space/ use of the space/ who are users – numbers, structure, activities, their motivation/ what is model of management if exist/is it eficient?

    b) Identify stakeholders

    Who are stakeholders?

    Stakeholders are people or organisations who have an interest in your project, or can affect or can be affected by its outcomes. Stakeholders include those who are both supportive as well as those who may be less supportive or even be an opponent. The purpose of stakeholder analysis is to:

    • identify project stakeholders
    • determine what interest each stakeholder has in your project
    • assess how much influence stakeholders have on the project
    • consider how you will manage and communicate with different types of stakeholder.

    In stakeholders analyse find out:

    Who is interested or who can be influenced by your project? Determine what interest each stakeholder has in your project. How keen are their interest? Are they your friends or enemies? How influental they can be over the project? How they can help (or not help)?

    What are strategies you will undertake towards different stakeholders?

    Here is basic scheme how your stakeholders analyse should look like:

    More resources about stakeholder analyse:


    c) Identify problems

    Problems identification helps you to target issues you want to affect with your activity and to articulate desirable change you want to realise. Do not do it alone. Involve other relevant stakeholders you previously identify in stakeholders assesment.  It will give better insight in the problem from diferent perspectives.

    For problems identification use method of „Problem tree“. It represent an brain storming problem identification undertaken by stakeholders. When all identified problems are putted on the table, create form of tree from them. Starting with core (basic) problem, all other problems devolop in few different branches following the logic  what comes first and what comes next or what couse what.

    Link: http://evaluationtoolbox.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=28&Itemid=134

    d) Identify needs and resources

    Needs and resources assesment helps to get deeper understanding of the community and cast the light on the possibilities in future planing as well as in choosing priorities. As first step in rising awareness of real possibilities for future development, this kind of research encourage community members in taking an action to solve existing problems and improve community life. It is a point where community members are becoming aware of their own power. Identifying needs and resources before starting an action, means that you know from the beginnig what you are dealing with. It helps to eliminate unexpected and unpleasent surprises that could happen.


    You made assesment. Now you make decision act or not act. If you decede to act because you found out that there is enough relevant elements that suport your idea then furder step is planinig. Plan is your road map to the succes. Planning is a way to organize actions that will lead to the fulfillment of a goal by providing clear direction.

    In planning use VMOSA method (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategy and Action Plan)

    First define your vision and mission.

    What is vision?

    Vision assumes Picture of the ideal future you want to achieve. It comes from the heart and define why your organisation is existing. Vision statement provides core values or fundamental idea that drives your activities towards desirable future. It should be clear, concise, memorable and  inspirational.

    Examples of Vision Statements:

    –        Rojc Alliance: “Community Center Rojc is a generator of positive social changes.” Creative Commons: “Nothing less then realizing the full potential of the Internet – universal access to research and education, gull participation in culture – to drive a new era of development growth and productivity.”

    What is mission?

    Mission answers the question “Why do we exist?” It is rationally defined statement of an organization‘s purpose. Mission identify the scope of its operations and determine goals in space and time. The purpose of a mission statement is to focus and direct the organization itself. A well-defined mission is the foundation for planing and acting. It gives to the people who make up the organization an understanding of the organization’s intended direction.

    Examples of Mission Statements:
    Trans Europe Halles: „ Our mission is to strengthen the sustainable development of non-governmental cultural centres and encourage new initiatives by connecting, supporting and promoting them.“
    Doctors without Borders works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation.

    Define your objectives.

    What are your objectives?

    If you made problem tree previously, then it will be easy to create tree of solutions or „Objectives Tree“. Just transform problems in willing solution (It means: transform negative sentences from problem tree in positive sentences). How it looks like? Is it desireable reality you want to acheive?

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP3DvddMmp8

    Define your general objective. (It is objective that reach your vision in long time perspective. For example…)

    Define specific objectives. (Specific, measurable results you want realize in defined time. For example…)

    Defining objectives take care that they are SMART.

    It means that your objectives are:





    Time oriented

    Define your Strategy.

    What is strategy?

    The strategy envisions the steps that need to be taken to achieve our vision and fulfill our mission. The strategic plan defines long term goals we decide to accomplish (in period 3-5 years usually). It also defines the ways and methods we will use to realize this.
    Keep in mind your strategic plan as a road map in decision making and planning future activities.

    How to create an strategic plan?

    1. Determine where you are.  Make assesment.
    2. Identify priorities.Focus on where you want to be and what do you want to realize in the community in recent future. What will be benefits? Why it is important?
    3. Define objectives.State clearly what your organization must achieve to address the priority issues.
    4. Determine methods.This is about who, what and how will be done. It implies allocation of time, human resources and money to address the priority issues and achieve the defined objectives.
    5. Review.  To ensure the implementation of the strategic plan, monitor the process and outcomes.  Periodically hold formal reviews of the process. If necessary, redefine methods to improve the process.

    SWOT Analysis is one of usefull tool for strategic planing. SWOT i san acronym for:

    Define Action Plan.

    Action Plan is actually an operational plan of activities planning to be undertaken in purpose to realize main objectives of your strategy. The action plan defines what are the desired results to be achieved , in what time frame , who will be involved in the implementation and what methods will be applied . It is basis for planning and implementation particular projects or actions. Also, Action Plan as main document for operation will serve later for evaluation of success.



    ACT – implementation

    When you have identified Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategy and Action Plan, then you can start an action.

    What you need is:

    • An Implementation Plan
      Previous step „Planning“ already gave you direction. Now create concreate activities, or concreate project, you will undertake to realaze objectives. Define concreate results of your activities.  Create team for implementation. Share responsabilities. Specify what you need for Action Plan implementation: Human resources (team members, employees, volunteers, experts, networkers etc.) Material resources (finace, space, equipment), Communication tools. Create an gantogram (Gantt Chart) – implementation plan in time.

    Find more about Gantt Chart here: www.gantt.com


    1. Define an intervention logic

    Tool: Logical Framework

    1. Specify assumptions and risks
    2. Define indicators of success – how you will measure progress, which indicators confirms results
    3. Activities schedule – define activities needed to realise desireable results/ activities sequences and their duration
    4. Financial plan
  • Tips & Tools


    1. The first step that you need to take in your place is to analyse the situation and identify the key needs regarding tenants/users/stakeholders/members/associations and space benefits of the “place”. Its purpose is to find out which kind of support in capacity building is needed. A good method is to conduct interviews with tenants. Also, it is important to identify relations with its surroundings as well as the local community. So you may have two types of interviews: with tenants and with the local community (example). (you can conduct on-line interviews and face to face ones. Personal contact is much better. )
    2. In order to find solutions as well as models to improve the current condition and governance relations in and around your place, the second step could be a series of workshops. These workshops should be open to all interested parties and based on the methodology of participatory group work, allowing space for point of view from all participants and active involvement in solution proposals. As common as in various participatory trials, it is not necessary that workshops need to involve all stakeholders (although all of them had the chance and the information), but only those who are willing and able to endow their time and energy. The important issue is to include people with different perspectives.

    IMPORTANT! Working on the new governance model is extremely demanding especially if the process is directed to achieve participation and involvement of various stakeholders. Further complications arise when the process is based on the complexity of stakeholders. Therefore, some external facilitator with experience who will be neutral and objective is of great importance.

     WORKSHOP No.1.

    The goal: determining general criteria and principles for the use of space based on the needs of its users.

    Your situation analysis will indicate certain advantages but also the core issues related to (1) internal communication and relationships in the “place”, (2) external communication and recognition of the “place”, (3) governance and (4) premises maintenance and usage.

    You need to identify possible modalities:

    – for the space usage (be it individual, group, community, permanent or temporary),

    – typology regarding the function (production, presentation, sports and recreational, workshop-conference, club, office, warehouse, food, or service…)

    – user representatives involved in this workshop can make a list of general basic principles/criteria as a base for further development of specific criteria and indicators for a particular type of space usage (for instance:  application criteria equality for all; responsible and efficient usage; general public space accessibility; active involvement in solving common issues; the social importance of action and help in achieving the overall vision…)


    The goal: required analysis related to the joint organization and collaboration among users.

    This process must be started if you want your place to be a recognizable entity based on the active fellowship between all its users, partnership with local authorities on the principles of participatory governance and responsibility sharing. The very beginning of the process must be focused on the building itself, the physical space and social relations within and around it. As the space itself is what connects all the stakeholders, and not a common form of organization, the analysis should be based on the relationships, existing problems and challenges, past achievements and solution proposals as well as criteria and principles for the future development model. Usually the key problem is the question of an active fellowship. What is the level of communication between stakeholders?  Is there a need for starting a formal or informal network? What is your joint vision? Your mission? What are the possible joint activities and projects (making mailing list, web site, open days, DIY actions for renovation of the space, joint culture events etc.)? What kind of network structure will it be and how you will make decisions, and what model of participation will be used?

    IMPORTANT! Determination of participation model must be participatory!  We all need to agree on how decisions will be made in the group and everyone must respect the rules that you will set together. There are various models and there is no correct recipe- you must try and see what best suits the dynamic of your group / network (consensus, majority decisions and alike.)

    At the end of the workshop you can make a short-term action plan.


    The goal: Management of the “place” based on partnership (civil-public or civil-private model)

    Methodology: Participatory group work – debates in plenary sessions (whole group), small group work, presentations, brainstorming etc.

    The general objectives of the workshop:

    Enable the transfer of existing practice;

    Determine the management model;

    Specific objectives:

    Familiarize participants with the model of management and operations  from the good practice examples;

    Define the partnership between the user and the ownes of a building (public or private);

    Identify the basic elements of management and activities;

    Define administrative bodies and decision-making principles;

    Determine the route of administration, and further steps;

    By combining knowledge, experiences and ideas from the owner of the building (public authority or private)  on one hand, and network of users on the other, synergy can be achieved as a base for further development, innovation and improved social and economic results. The key to success of civic-public management  has to be based on mutual trust arising from the permanent process translucency and openness of the joint time energy and knowledge venture, as well as faith in the possibilities to introduce changes that will bring prosperity not only to direct stakeholders (users and ?), but most importantly, to the citizens and community. Naturally, the base of the whole process is political and civil willingness with an interest for quality changes to be actually introduced.


    When the network is established you open a possibility for the tenants to have a direct management involvement and take responsibility as a unity. In the case of civil-public model, these objectives, as well as those related to effective and long-term sustainable management, can be achieved through hybrid institutional models based on a partnership between the two sectors: civil and public. Involving users into the governance process would boost their motivation to secure a greater level of engagement, a sense of “ownership” and  responsibility regarding space-handling all together. Strategic and long-term oriented governance can be achieved only by the entities’ fundamental activity. Only then can it provide constant development and diversified funding. The key to success has to be based on mutual trust arising from the permanent processes translucency and openness of the joint time, energy and knowledge venture, as well as faith in the possibilities to introduce changes that will bring prosperity not only to direct stakeholders (users and ?), but most importantly, to the citizens and community. Naturally, the base of the whole process is political and civil willingness with an interest for quality changes to be actually introduced. This goal requires many activities of advocacy.

    The LAST tip, but not the LEAST  is how to  advocate towards the owner of the building / local authorities to accept your representatives as relevant actors in the management and decision-making process.

    Some ideas:

    1.Make a round table with good examples of participatory governance models from other third places, with relevant speakers, a large audience, local represenatives, political representatives, media..

    1. Organise a study visit for representatives of local authorities and show in situ some inspirational examples of participatory governace models in third places.
    2. If you are on a study visit tour, make a film about good examples of PG in third places and show it to the local authority and public
    3. Make a campaign – show how important you are in the community, engage cityzens, stakeholders, artists etc.
    4. Keep the communication alive – communicate about the issue with involved stakeholders. If you come with demands only, that will not bring results, suggest solutions and your part of responsability for the result. Let your efforts be publicly visible. Public support is important for final success.

    Good examples:


  • Challenges

    Make an brain storming to identify all problems. Note it on separate pieces of paper (post- it). Then with all this create a tree. Trunk of tree will represent basic problem. Other branches will represent problems that arise from basic problem. Try to find some logic from problems you identified in brain storming. Select them according a filds you can recognese (for example: inner problems, external problems, or organisational, legal, people resources etc.). This will represent different tree branches. For sure, you will have few of them. Then create branches by following logic what grows from what, or what is coused by what.  It actually means that you should recognise which problem apears first and how it causes other problems.

    Be aware that it is not possible that you can solve all recognised problem. So, choose what is realistic. It can be just one branch of problem tree or just several elements from different branches.


    • Relevant stakeholders
    • Facilitator
    • Flip chart
    • Post-it papers
    • 2 hours of work
  • Resources