4 - Project Planning Guide
This Project Planning Guide (Step 4) explains the key project concepts.
A peace project is a project developed at local level by Scouts to meet the needs of the community and make a difference. A peace project should contribute to building a more peaceful world by making a change in one of the three following areas: managing conflict without violence, challenging prejudice and encouraging greater solidarity.
The 4 stages - participation and action
There are four stages in the project. The stages are are set out in the diagram below:
|Project Planning Cycle|
Stage 1: Exploring - identifying the problems
The Scouts participate in exploring topics - identifying problems in their communities.
Stage 2: Responding - developing awareness and empathy
Scouts analyse the information that they have collected and develop a personal response to the problem that they have identified. They become aware of the human dimension to the topic and develop a sense of empathy, involvement and commitment.
Stage 3: Taking action - to make a difference
The Scouts seek practical ways to contribute to solving the problem that they have identified. Together they plan and implement a project, with the help of adults and possibly involving external experts.
Stage 4: Measuring change - in the community and in the Scouts
The project developed by the Scouts should not only be a vague intention. It should have an impact and produce a change in the young people themselves and in the community. Through the process, the Scouts will acquire new attitudes, knowledge and skills.
These changes in the young people and the impact on the community need to be evaluated and measured. There will be a real outcome only if it is possible to explain and show how the situation has changed at the end of the project.
The tools that have been developed to support this stage are available as pdf files - see below.
In line with the Strategy for Scouting and the strategic priority on Youth Involvement, adopted at the World Scout Conference in 2002, the Scouts should be directly involved in every step of the process. The project is decided, managed, completed and evaluated by young people themselves, with the support of adults. The more young people are involved in the process, the more they will develop awareness and acquire skills and capabilities. However, this does not mean that the Scout leaders should be inactive. On the contrary, they have to be very active in guiding and supporting the young people.
Managing the process
Here is a step by step guide to managing the process with details of the resources and tools available in this kit to support each of the stages.
The leader calls a meeting of the Unit and introduces the project idea. For the older sections (Scouts, Senior Scouts and Rovers) the proposal can first be discussed at the Unit Council (Council of Team Leaders). The leader should use all the resources available to make his or her presentation as attractive as possible. When working with the team leaders, the Unit leader can introduce the 'planning guide' to introduce the whole process and prepare a workplan. There are also tools to support this process. The 'Examples of projects' section (3 for each age-group) gives useful examples and shows how the overall process can be planned and managed.
Resources: Presentation and Planning Tools (step 5), Tools (see below), Examples of projects, (step 6)
The key purposes of the project are to make a difference in the community and to develop skills, empathy and awareness in young people. It is important therefore that you make notes on each of these topics as the project develops. Tool 4: Learning Developed and Tool 6: Measuring Change will help with this process and they should be used at all stages of the process.
Resources: Tool 4: Learning developed, Tool 6: Measuring Change
Telling your story
A key aspect of this project involves telling others what you have done. You should share your results with key leaders in your community, parents and other people who give you support locally, other Scouts and more importantly the press and other key partners. How you are going to tell your story and who your are going to tell it to should be built into your project at the very beginning and developed as you progress. Tool 7: Telling your story is designed to help with this process and it should be used at all stages of the process.
Resources: Tool 7: Telling your story
Exploring - identifying the problems
The first step for the Unit is to identify the problems that exist in the local community within one of the three areas identified. Situation cards are included and activities such as the diamond ranking exercise and True/False games can be used to identify problems locally.
It is helpful to have 2 or 3 problems at this point and explore a few situations before choosing one. Tool 3: Exploring situations will be helpful in this exercise.
Using the tools provided, ask the young people to think of the skills that will need to be developed to respond to the problems. Ask the young people to think of how the project could be developed in response to the challenges faced. This step should be completed before the final project is identified.
Resources: Tool 1b: Situation cards, Activity Treasure Chest: Diamond Ranking Exercise (step 7), Activity Treasure Chest: True/False game (step 7), Life Skills for Young People (step 9), Tool 3: Exploring situations
Responding - developing awareness and empathy
This stage is aimed at helping young people to develop awareness and empathy on the selected issue and understand the causes and consequences of the issue. The level and depth of understanding will be dependant on their age. The methods to help young people develop awareness and empathy should be active and challenging. Suitable activities can be found in the Activity Treasure Chest.
Resources: Activity Treasure Chest(step 7).
Taking action - to make a difference
If the responding phase has been successful, young people should have developed a feeling of personal commitment and should be keen to take action. The Leader should work with the young people to develop the project and plan of action. The proposals should be discussed and endorsed by the Unit Council. Tool 5: Project Planning sets out a project plan to help with this part of the project. To undertake the project successfully the Scouts may have to develop more specific skills e.g. problem-solving and mediation, decision-making, critical thinking and analysis, listening etc. Examples are set out in the Skills cards. The Unit leader and team leaders will find good examples of planning and projects in the 'Worked Examples'.
Resources: Tool 5: Project planning, Examples of Projects (step 6), Life Skills for Young People(step 9).
Measuring change - in the community and in the Scouts
Through the implementation of the project, young people have acquired new attitudes, knowledge and skills. They have changed. Hopefully the project has also had an impact on the community; Scouts have made the community more aware of the problem and have contributed to some solutions. These changes have to be evaluated and recorded in order to show the value of the gift for peace developed by the Unit. The Activity Treasure Chest and the Worked Examples give ideas on how to include measuring change in the project.
Resources: Examples of Projects (step 6) and Activity Treasure Chest (step 7).
To present your project to key leaders, partners and supporters in your community, it is necessary to prepare a report. It is also important to share your ideas in Scouting. Your learning and success will help to inspire and encourage others and it is important that there is an overview of all the work undertaken for Gifts for Peace.
Resources: Reporting Forms (step 10).
Telling your story
Don't forget to tell your story to the local media and press.
Resource: Tool 7: Telling your story