Participatory Learning and Action Tools

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Participatory learning and action (PLA) tools are used to engage communities in a process of shared decision making around their strengths and assets. Action steps are often identified by the group to make social, economic, or environmental changes in their community. Select and practice one of the following participatory learning and action tools:

  1. Community asset map
  2. Holistic worldview analysis
  3. Appreciative inquiry interview
  4. Problem tree analysis (also called diagramming)
  5. Photovoice

Identify an individual or group of individuals with whom you are currently working as part of your job,
service, volunteerism, or family. Review the selected tool and become familiar
with the process and purpose of the tool prior to facilitating it with your
selected individual or group.

In a 1,000-1,250-word essay, discuss the following:

  1. What tool did you select and why did you select it instead of the other options?
  2. What cultural insight did you learn based on the individual or group you selected? Include a brief description of the individual or group you engaged in for this
  3. What challenges did you identify in facilitating the tool?
  4. Discuss how the participants responded to the tool regarding their participation and shared decision-making. Consider how PLA tools are focused on building the
    capacity of people versus projects or programs.
  5. A Health in All Policies approach, which includes economic and environmental
    factors are important in addressing the interconnectedness of health factors to
    support holistic transformation. Discuss how this community engagement approach through such a tool is useful for assessing a Health in All Policies approach. In addition, consider how this approach is effective in reducing health
    disparities by addressing economic and environmental issues through community
    mobilization and assets.

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