Information Gathering Activity
An activity that explores barriers and solutions to those barriers
*You will need small rectangles of paper and pens.
Example of how to use it:
If an intended outcome of your project is to increase the uptake of services for health, well being and mental health in the area then you might use the following performance measure.
Performance measure – Community members are able to identify a wider range of barriers to accessing services and suggest more practical ways of breaking them down.
Time: 20 – 40 minutes
Why do we like it?
It is a great way of pooling concerns and bringing sometimes hidden barriers out into the open. It empowers groups to take responsibility for finding their own solutions and can help promote empathy.
How does it work?
- Write ‘Accessing health, mental health and well being services’ on a large sheet of paper.
- Explain that the group is going to be exploring barriers first and then looking at solutions.
- Give the group five or six of the small rectangles of paper each and ask them individually or in small groups to come up with barriers that may prevent a person from accessing health, mental health and well being services. Writing one barrier on each rectangle of paper. These should be placed on the large sheet of paper so that they build up a wall.
- Once they have written all the ideas they can think of compile any duplicates and review the ‘bricks’ as a group.
- Now ask the group to suggest solutions to individual barriers, if they can identify a solution they can turn the ‘brick’ over and note it on the reverse side.
Measuring from this activity requires some analysis. You will need to decide whether the barriers are realistic, varied and thorough and how easy the group found it to identify solutions. Some quantitative data can be gathered from the number of barriers and solutions expressed but you will need to be clear that those counted are robust.
How to adapt it?
This activity can be used to explore barriers and solutions to any issue. You can develop the thinking process by asking the group to prioritise the barriers and then discuss them in more depth.
Why it works
The ‘wall’ image is useful for a dialogue about barriers. Allowing barriers to be expressed freely before solutions are explored helps the discussion to flow. The barriers that the groups struggle to resolve can be useful pointers for future work. No-one is asked to talk about themselves but they are likely to include anonymised personal experiences.