Module M04 - Community Groundwork and Processes

Unit M04U02: Community Ground Preparation


This Unit proposes a step-by-step process that could be followed in preparing ground work for participatory mapping. The Unit provides tips to practitioners (trainers and facilitators) of participatory mapping processes. It underlines the importance of community ground preparation as a foundational activity for effective participation and the importance of building a relationship based on mutual trust as vital for a participatory mapping process.

Building trust and dialogue in any community is not easy. Dialogue at the local level begins with a few people and then expands to larger groups in the community. Building relationships between the communities and the participatory mapping team is therefore the most important step for preparing communities for a successful participatory process. Time must be taken to ensure that before the participatory mapping process begins, the communities where the whole exercise is to be undertaken are well-mobilised and have a good understanding of the process, its purpose and relevance to their lives. Community ground preparation is critical for building partnerships with local institutions to spearhead and support the entire process of participatory mapping. This Unit proposes an outline for a process that can be used for community ground preparation for participatory mapping.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • list a step-by-step process for community ground preparation;
  • establish contacts and build rapport;
  • familiarise with the community surroundings;
  • identify community support structures;
  • manage community relations;
  • prepare community feedback;
  • use participatory mapping findings.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Community Entry Processes (Exercise No. 1) (2 ½ hours)
  2. Community Ground Preparation (Handout4T & PPT) (60 min)

Components of the Unit


Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):



3 ½ hours

Additional trainer resources

  • Waters-Bayer, Anne and Wolfgang Bayer. Planning with Pastoralists: PRA and More, A Review of Methods Focused on Africa. 1994. p. 36.
  • Yaqub, Haider and Islam Siful. Using Immersions for Program Development at Plan Bangladesh, Participatory Learning and Action # 57. December 2007. pp. 94–99.

Equipment needed

Newsprint, metaplan cards, pin boards, pins, felt pens, computer, beamer

Additional downloads