AESOP4Food Methods and tools

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Nominal Group Technique

The Nominal Group Technique was employed as a structured method for generating ideas and making decisions within group settings, ensuring all participants' voices were heard and considered. The Nominal Group Technique was employed as a structured method for generating ideas and making decisions within group settings, ensuring all participants' voices were heard and considered. It is an efficient and easy method for collaborative work within your team of learners, with a project team, with a community to make sure all voices can be heard. One can use it for defining challenges, collaborative goal setting, selecting a preferred alternative, or deciding on actions.

It is a structured method for group brainstorming encouraging contributions from everyone, which facilitates quick agreement on the relative importance of issues, problems, or solutions.

Team members begin by writing down their ideas, and then selecting which idea they feel is best. Everyone presents their favourite idea(s); the suggestions are then discussed and prioritised by the entire group using a point system. The ratings of individual group members are combined into the final weighted priorities of the group. You can find a presentation on the method, steps and possible uses here.

Collaborative Goal Setting

Participants engaged in collaborative goal setting to define objectives and desired outcomes, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment to achieving shared goals.

In the online sessions, we used for this, and onsite it can easily be done using flipover sheets, and stickers. Important is that:

  • Each group member writes down individual his/her goals
  • Only places one goal on a sticker
  • Collect the goals while the participants explain these
  • Similar goals can be grouped by a moderator
  • Goals can be reformulated into common goals with the approval of the group.

Power mapping

Objective: To create a visual representation of the relationships and influences among different stakeholders in a food system, focusing on their positions relative to a collaborative goal.

Community and Landscape Analysis

  • Identify your community by analyzing the environmental, social, and political context.
  • Use methods like autobiographical narration, theater, and play to gather genuine insights.
  • Map traditional social groups, individuals, local and external stakeholders to understand the broader community dynamics.

Creating the Power Map

  • Start with a central collaborative goal.
  • Position stakeholders based on their influence and relationship to this goal.
  • Use digital tools like Padlet and Miro for interactive and evolving maps.
Powermap on a food challenge developed under guidance of Deni Ruggeri

Democratic Participation Analysis

  • Ensure the community becomes self-aware through the participatory process.
  • Involve all affected parties to gather a comprehensive understanding of needs and desires.

Benefits for Students:

  • Enhances understanding of complex stakeholder dynamics.
  • Develops skills in data collection, analysis, and collaborative planning.
  • Encourages active participation and engagement with real-world challenges.

Food system mapping

Food mapping is a crucial methodology in understanding and analysing food systems within various contexts.

  • To map and evaluate local food systems.
  • To identify stakeholders, power structures, and the dynamics of food production, distribution, and consumption.
  • To facilitate targeted interventions and policy development.

Presentations on different types of food system mapping can be found in Phase II Analysing the local food system. Marian Simón Rojo of UPM introduces the relevance of mapping for starting transformative actions and presents an overview of the types of mapping. Katrin Bohn, of Bohn&Viljoen Architects & the School of Architecture & Design of the University of Brighton, presents several projects and how mapping played a role in them.

Food System Mapping Methodology

  • Define Scope and Objectives: Clearly outline geographic and thematic focus. Ensures targeted and relevant mapping efforts.
  • Stakeholder Identification: Use power mapping to identify key players. Engages all relevant stakeholders and ensures comprehensive understanding of the food system.
  • Data Collection: Collect quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Mapping the Food System: Create visual maps of food system elements. Visualises complex relationships and flows within the food system.
  • SWOT Analysis: Conduct a collaborative SWOT analysis. Identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, facilitating strategic planning.
  • Analysis and Interpretation: Analyse data to identify trends and issues.
  • Developing Interventions: Co-design solutions with stakeholders. Ensures practical and accepted solutions through stakeholder involvement.
  • Reporting and Dissemination: Share findings and strategies.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Establish metrics for ongoing evaluation. Ensures continuous improvement and adaptation of interventions.

In AESOP4Food, this methodology was applied for the Living Lab assignment to map Bucharest District 6's foodscape, involving detailed mapping and stakeholder workshops to identify challenges.