Environment & Sustainability

Click on the links below for a selection of case studies on Ketso in environmental management and planning for sustainability:

Overview

Ketso emerged from work in ecological land management in Southern Africa and engagement with community members in Manchester to develop a sustainability vision for the River Irk and a former landfill, Moston Vale.

You can find out more about this by viewing this brief video, and by reading the case study of the work in Moston Vale here.

Ketso is being used by a wide range of organisations in environmental management and sustainability planning.

The value of its use in the complex field of environmental planning is shown by this reflection from a student on the course 'Planning for Environmental Change' at the University of Manchester:

"Ketso can facilitate the solving of planning and environmental problems because it helps analyse a wide variety of issues (e.g. social/economic/environmental/landscape/spatial). I will use such tools in future as it helped me generate thought and identify themes in which they could be organised.”

Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Barbados

 Nicole Greenidge, PhD Candidate, School of Environment and Development, The University of Manchester

 March 30, 2015 marked the inaugural use of Ketso in Barbados. The kit was used as part of a PhD research project funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission to gather information from key stakeholders on ‘developing an integrated disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation mapping framework for flood risk governance’.

Like other small island developing states, climate change poses significant threats to Barbados. Flooding related to sea level rise and increased intensity in rainfall over shorter periods is of particular concern. To this end, the workshop was convened under the auspices of the Barbados Government to tackle this problem. The workshop facilitated the engagement of government, private sector and community stakeholders in developing a mapping framework that could help to reduce flood related risks to Barbados.

Participants represented personnel with varying expertise and at differing levels of engagement- from administrators to the ‘man on the street’.  More than 20 people attended the workshop including representatives from disaster management, flood management, information systems, water resource management, lands and surveys, building standards, development planning, business investment, statistics, meteorology, health care, social care, and community disaster management. This included particpants from the GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS, Town & Country Development Planning Office and Department of Emergency Management.

After discussing challenges with flood management in Barbados and issues related to integrated action, participants spent three hours thrashing out what worked, what was required, the challenges and the opportunities for developing the integrated framework. The main ideas for advancement were related to communication, institutions, laws and policy, research and flood assessment. All three groups selected communication and research as key areas for work.

Changes that have come about from using Ketso

 The findings emerging from the Ketso have been used to initiate the development of an integrated flood risk mapping framework for Barbados. For example noting the challenge related to communication and research from the Ketso findings, a second workshop was held which allowed for participants to discuss with scientists some of the climate change research being done and the implications for flooding due to climate change. Stakeholders have subsequently identified the kinds of information available and useful for assessing and visualising flood risk in the Barbados context.  

Also on an individual level, some participants identified that they were able to receive new insights on, ‘how many agencies could become involved in providing a framework for the purpose of flood risk management’. Others highlighted that, ‘they saw the best practices and administrative challenges that could impact efficient/effective Flood Risk Management.’ And that ‘It facilitated a sharing of information relevant to the compilation of a comprehensive database (GIS) for analysis and risk management’. Moreover, others commented on the interaction that the tool provided with new stakeholders.

An important outcome of the Ketso activity relates to the input that it is providing to the policy aspect of the research. The specific input from participants will shape the proposed governance framework to support the mapping tool on flood risk. As mentioned by one participant, ‘Not only did I get an overview of the current body of work involved in flood mitigation, but I was an active participant in shaping policy moving forward…’.

Feedback from participants

 When asked what they felt was most effective about the workshop, almost half of the respondents said that the use of the Ketso was the most effective part of the workshop, particularly for capturing ideas and for time management.  One participant says it this way,  ‘the Ketso was an excellent way to capture the ideas from those of various work backgrounds and level of understanding of the subject matter, but with a keen interest in reducing the risk associated with flooding’. When asked if the Ketso provided a useful tool for gathering stakeholder input to develop the mapping framework, 54% strongly agreed, and 31% agreed. All participants agreed that the workshop was productive.

Facilitator’s experience

 The Ketso was very useful for capturing everyone’s viewpoint and allowing individuals to have the chance to think about their perspective individually before being bombarded by the viewpoints of those who may be most vocal in the group, or ones that they thought would be more knowledgeable than themselves. I really wanted to hear everyone’s view point and the Ketso really helped with this. It also helped to bring structure to the discussion and to keep the discussion on point. It also helped to move it along in a short-time frame. I was able to drill down to see what were some of the emerging themes.

I was happy that I piloted the Ketso as was recommended. I was also pleased with the response that I received from participants with respect to the interaction that the Ketso facilitated. Once they got to sharing, they were overflowing. One comment I received however is that they wanted more time to share their experiences. Nonetheless it was rewarding to hear from both administrators and community alike that they enjoyed the workshop and the kit especially. Even my pilot participants thoroughly enjoyed the Ketso.

I found the excel spreadsheet to be particularly useful for pulling all the information nicely together in an organised manner. With respect to improvements, it would be helpful if there was some guidance on how to analyse the data once it is input to the Excel spreadsheet.

Ketso note: We have developed this slideshow about analysing outputs from Ketso workshops, and are working on more guidance on analysis of data.

Energy Production and Community Benefit

 

Alister Forman, Doctoral Candidate, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University

 

Ketso was used in a pop-up studio as part of the Stories of Change project in Treherbert, Wales, to explore , from the standpoint of the participants, the assets in Treherbert, objectives for the future, key challenges and creative solutions; alongside co-producing a common understanding of how any local model of energy production ought primarily to benefit the community. 

The session builds on work at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, in conjunction with the Welsh Government, exploring the role of community energy as a vehicle for achieving social justice objectives – particularly in the context of fuel poverty – and for mapping and examining local perceptions of community benefit as a way of exploring the diversity of ways in which community energy contributes towards the mediation of local and social objectives beyond the environmental.

Interesting associations emerged from the themes under discussion, such as the intersection between driving ‘green tourism’ to Treherbert as a pathway towards dealing with issues around poverty and disenfranchisement where, despite having that strong community fabric, there remained a perception that perhaps there was a ‘lack of community voice’.

Read more in this blog.

Partnerships and Community Engagement in our Catchments

In 2014, Joanne led a series of workshops on Stakeholder Engagement in River Catchments, along with Mark Horton, the Trust Manager of Ballinderry Rivers Trust. This was part of a 2-day training offered by the RiversTrust to all catchment hosts nationally, aimed to develop the core skills needed for the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA).

The Catchment Based Approach was launched by DEFRA in 2013 as an integrated approach to managing the water environment, with collaboration and engagement at its core. You can download this report setting out the policy framework here.

In the River Wandle, a pilot for CaBA, Ketso was used as a key engagement tool. You can read about The use of Ketso in the River Wandle here, as well as in this report following the CaBA Pilots, 'Guide to Collaborative Catchment Management'. 

As part of the CABA training for catchment partners, Joanne facilitated workshops using Ketso as an example of a stakeholder engagement technique. 170 participants (ranging from catchment hosts to representatives from the Environment Agency and DEFRA) a used Ketso to share their experiences of, and ideas for, community engagement and partnership development in their different catchments, hence the ideas represent a cross-section of activity from across the country, rather than an in-depth look at any one catchment.

Download the report synthesising outcomes from these workshops (pdf) here.

Download the full set of results from the workshops (excel spreadsheet) here.

Shaping the future of the Carbon Landscape

Cheryl Knott, LNR Development Officer, Lancashire Wildlife Trust

We have been using Ketso to engage the community to shape the Carbon Landscape project, through five initial consultation workshops, in partnership with Countryscape
 
Participants have been split into small groups around a table (4-6 people). The participants have used the coloured leaves to inform us of….what makes their place special (yellow)….problems in their area (grey)……projects they would like to achieve (green). At each stage we have looked at some of the ideas they wanted to ‘voice’ by listing them on a flip chart and having an open discussion across all groups.
 
Because Ketso is such a different concept, participants were really focussed on the task. Whether it was to create a tree of ideas or because they were passionate and wanted to get the information across, it worked well. The more participants started to see others’ ideas, they gained confidence and the activity spiralled! It seems to be successful more so than post it notes on paper, as there is a more professional looking outcome with the kit. Survey monkey and questionnaires aren’t as personal and tend to be over-looked.
 
One participant mentioned that it was good to be able to put all the ‘stuff’ in your head onto the board and also to then be able to see what others are thinking. They were often amused about coming out with the same ideas and the ideas popping up on the ‘nature’ or ‘history’ branch, and this showed them that you can look at a different idea from several angles.
 
We will continue to use Ketso in the workshops as it is easy to design the questions and branches to meet your needs. So far I have only used this in a public/community setting, and have had thoughts of using it across a day at an open day to build up ideas as participants are visiting a site.
 

Using Ketso to help plant environmental 'Green Seeds' of hope across the city, Action For Sustainable Living

Jo Wilkes (communities and schools coordinator)

I have been using Ketso with staff and Volunteers in a range of context for Action for Sustainable Living (AfSL) since 2010. I encouraged the charity AfSL to buy their own kit after encountering Ketso being used at The Big Society and the Environment conference.

I was employed by Action for Sustainable Living under the 4 years, big lottery funded, Green Seeds project. The aim was to train, mentor and support volunteers called Local Project Managers (LPM's) to design and deliver community environmental/sustainable projects across Greater Manchester.  The volunteers were  recruited from hard to reach diverse communities across Manchester and Trafford.  They were from a range of backgrounds, ages, and all had different learning styles and experiences. Our challenge was to deliver fun, non-formal education inspiring and empowering training to help motivate them to take action in their communities.

We used Ketso as a main training tool to help them explore the needs of their communities, looking at what was going well and what they loved about where they lived. We then used it to gather the knowledge, skills and resources about environmental ideas  they had to develop and creatively deliver  the community project. The Green Seeds was an extremely successful project with over 60 community environmental projects designed through the Ketso training process. Ketso was also used in the training workshops of local businesses and organisations.

AfSL works as a non-hierarchical organisation and Ketso fitted in perfectly with this ethos. We used Ketso in our meetings to strategically plan our next steps to complete the Big Lottery funded program to target.

The Ketso project planning grid was especially useful when planning and assigning tasks to really address clearly what needed to be done in the last few months of the contract. It was useful to use the coloured leaves to make certain parts of the projects stand out and be prioritized. The difference of using this instead of a white board is that projects adapt and change especially when you are working in a team.  When using a white board you have to carefully wipe it out without moving other parts of the grid or other people’s tasks,  this means people are reluctant to update the board when it should change. With the Ketso planning grid it was quick and simple to move a leaf without all the messing around. It allowed for creative thinking and adapting the plan during the working process. 

Environment Agency Workshop on Sustainability and Land Use

Lower Alt with Crossens Pumped Drainage Area Strategic Planning (2011)
Working with Richard Shirres, (Technical Specialist Flood Risk Management at the Environment Agency), Bill Tippett facilitated a Ketso workshop to develop an important strategic understanding for the pumped drainage area of the Lower Alt with Crossens catchment. This area is managed for flood risk and is intensively drained by pumping. The idea behind the workshop was to help ensure any planning for future water management addressed long-term sustainable land use issues and to inform future stakeholder engagement.

There were nineteen participants in total, with one person attending from Natural England and the remainder from the Environment Agency. Over the half-day workshop, presentations were given about the scope of previous studies and to give an overview of the key operational and strategic issues for the area. These were followed by an interactive Ketso workshop. Participants were divided into four groups, each with a main focus:

  • Improved Integration & Operation of Water Management
  • Characterising sustainable Land Use Exploitation via Ecosystem Services
  • Paving the Way for Catchment Care and Democratic Water Governance
  • Building a better Environment Agency ~ Farming relationship

Participants explored future possibilities (opportunities) and challenges (constraints) and reviewed each other’s work.  Over 220 comments/issues were raised by participants.  Following the workshop, these were distilled, collated and grouped, to yield seven themes.

The relevance of stakeholder understanding of climate change and sustainable land use for each of the distilled issues, within these seven themes, was highlighted.  This synthesis of the Ketso workshop output potentially provided important insight into the needed focus of engagement with stakeholders.

The Ketso workshop allowed participants to see the area in the context of sustainability and was an excellent opportunity to provoke useful dialogue between all of the different technical disciplines represented. Comments from participants included:
"It helped focus internal staff on the sustainability of the catchment."
"I found it really useful contribution for the Strategic Environmental Assessment."

You can download the summary report here, or see the excel spreadsheet synthesising the results, here.

National Policy Consultation: The Environment Agency

The  Environment   Agency

Ketso was used under contract to the Environment Agency in developing a series of workshops to discuss the River Basin Planning Strategy (which sets out how the requirements of the European Union Water Framework Directive are to be met). This work involved bringing together a broad range of stakeholders, including farmers, wildlife organisations, water companies, ports’ authorities and government agencies. In total, over 120 people attended five regional events.

Ketso proved instrumental in encouraging open discussion between participants and Environment Agency staff. It was used to both foster and record this dialogue, and to enable people to think creatively about this challenging policy (ie. implementing the EU Water Framework Directive).

Feedback from particapnts included:

  • Mapping process at start v. useful to get ideas flowing.
  • A new and complex subject…exercises with felt, etc. were most helpful.
  • Interesting approach  - active engagement of disparate sectors  ? Significant degree of commonality in thinking.
  • Discussion groups as the method of recording ideas (labels on felt) was very stimulating for the discussion.  Far better than just pen and paper. 
  • The discussion sessions were interesting and allowed ideas to flow and develop.

Environmental Planning with Manchester City Council

Green  City Network

Green City Network (2006)

A team from the Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology (CURE) at the University of Manchester facilitated two workshops at the Green City Network Launch Conference, held at the City of Manchester Stadium. Ketso was used to manage and record discussion of the different aspects of the Network, including existing activities and assets, as well as new ideas and future opportunities.

The discussion involved over 100 participants, working in teams of around eight people per kit. Over 1,300 new ideas were generated and prioritised. All of this information was recorded in a database and used to develop a framework and direction for the Network. Feedback from the event was very positive, with many participants citing the Ketso workshops as being among the most interesting aspects of the day. You can download the full report here.


Biodiversity  Stratergy

Biodiversity Strategy (2005)

This day-long workshop for stakeholders to provide input into Manchester’s Biodiversity Strategy was hosted by Manchester City Council at the Manchester Museum of Science and Technology. 30 stakeholders from Manchester and its region attended the workshop. The use of Ketso helped to keep the discussion positive, despite several potential areas of conflict amongst the delegates. The fact that the discussion generated more useful ideas than problems is a testament to the use of Ketso as a tool for delivering positive results.

Feedback on useful aspects of the workshop included:

  • The interactive element helped to stimulate ideas and discussions.
  • Very good interactive sessions.
  • Coloured leaves a great idea.
  • The participatory element, facilitated by Joanne and Angus, provided an ideal means of encouraging discussion, coupled with a genuinely engaging and intuitive method of brainstorming and recording ideas – excellent! It was also very useful to share experiences with a diverse range of workshops participants – I strongly believe that such inter-disciplinary events are key to the future success of sustainable development.

You can download the full report here.

Note that the reports in this section used the name DesignTree for Ketso - this was an earlier name for the toolkit.

Further work with Manchester City Council has included developing a tree strategy and climate change strategy. These are discussed  below, in the work that Countryscape has been doing using Ketso.

Environmental and Landscape Planning (Countryscape)

Countryscape is a multi-disciplinary company working in the environmental, voluntary and heritage fields, which brings together a creative approach to communications and environmental and scientific know-how. Countryscape has been using Ketso in their workshops and engagement stakeholders since 2004.

Tree  Stratergy

An example of this work was a one-day event designed to explore ideas for developing the Manchester City’s Tree Strategy. Countryscape were called upon by the City Council at short notice and therefore required a solution ‘out of the box’ – something that could be easily set up and used with confidence.

Approximately 100 people took part in the event, which proved highly successful in terms of both people’s satisfaction and the delivery of results (over 600 comments were recorded, roughly half of which represented new ideas to take the strategy forward).

You can see further examples of Countryscape's use of Ketso by clicking on the links below.

Paul Mahony,  the Creative Director of Countryscape has commented:
"Ketso is a fantastic tool that has greatly improved how we manage workshops, consultations and community planning events. It's brilliantly simple and even fun to use; and most importantly it produces results that are clear and can be acted upon. I would heartily recommend Ketso to anyone looking for a cost-effective and reliable solution to running participatory events."

Big Society and the Environment (North West Environment Link)

Keso was used to develop ideas of how the environmental community could best respond to the opportunities and challenges of the Big Society. On October 27, 2010, 65 people from a wide range of organisations involved in environmental issues across the North West attended a conference hosted by North West Environment Link. A report synthesising the results has been posted on the North West Environment Link (NWEL). The need for significant capacity building and skills development in partnership working was highlighted.

The full set of results is available in this spreadsheet.

You can download the report here. You can download the response to this report from Richard Benyon MP, Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries's here.

Leeds City Council Energy Guardians

Jonathan Eyre (Sustainability officer at Leeds City Council)

Energy Guardians

Following the last Big Switch off campaign, the Environment Policy Team (EPT) at Leeds City Council decided to hold a team meeting to look at the direction

and outcomes of the Energy Guardians and to consider what should be done next.  Ketso helped bring clarity and an agreed action plan to help deliver the future Energy Guardian campaign.

Comments from Team Members included:
  • ‘ We would never have systematically looked at the width of issues around the Energy Guardians if we had not used Ketso’
  • ‘ interesting process to gather thoughts and concepts and provide structure that should hopefully result in effective action’
  • ‘It helped work though a complicated project in an organised way and pick out key objectives’
  • ‘a good concept which produced an end result that was lead to rather than developed though abstract thinking’

Download the full report here.

Sefton Coast Partnership Coastal Forum

Dominique Tilley (Sefton Coast Partnership Representative)

Context

The Sefton Coast Partnership hold a Coastal Forum every year. The event is open for anyone to register to attend, and this year just under 200 people attended.  The Planning Department of Sefton Council are currently updating and redrafting the Sefton Coast ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) Plan. We thought that the forum would be a good opportunity to consult with the public on this. After using the Ketso kit for another workshop, we thought it would be a good idea is use this technique for consultation at the Forum.

We did not hold Workshops as such, but invited people to write their comments on ‘leaves’ as to what their views were on certain aspects of the coast which could then be fed into our Plan.

What we will use the information for:

The information we obtained will be fed into the new plan, particularly the comments on the vision and the aims and objectives. The event as a whole will also be included on our ‘consultation list’.
Interestingly, the consultation (especially asking for peoples input to the vision) derived from a separate session we had with a Ketso kit, where it was raised that if the Plan we are writing is to be aimed at the public, then the public should have a say in the vision.

General Comments:

I found Ketso to be really useful in getting a wide range of views, particularly from people who may not normally wish to partake in consultation. The ‘branches’ ‘leaves’ and different colours make it more interesting and unusual, and in particular I found it extremely easy to transport, set up and pack away. I would definitely recommend Ketso to any colleague carrying out public consultation, and will certainly try to use it in any future consultation that I undertake. Thanks!

Download the full report here.

Sustainable Change Cooperative - Greater Manchester

Dr. Steve Glynn (Sustainable Change Cooperative Representative)

Rochdale

Sustainable Change Cooperative used Ketso to help a group of concerned citizens in Rochdale begin the process of thinking about what a sustainable Rochdale might look like and how to get there. Around 30 people were involved and were first asked to look forward and think about what they would like to have seen happen in Rochdale by 2020. These ideas were then put down on the felt and the groups identified various themes to cluster them around. Following this participants were asked to think about actions that would need to happen in the next couple of years in order to begin to make progress towards the vision for 2020. This was meant to be the start of a process and the end result of a collective vision and ideas of short-term actions was meant to provide some impetus to this. The participants enjoyed using Ketso and it allowed them space to come up with their own thoughts while providing an effective way of bringing these together into a collective output.  "The outline of a plan and a series of priorities were possible within a very short time and without the formalities of PowerPoint and other corporate presentation methods"  (Sustainable Change Coperative).

Oldham

As part of their work with Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council to help develop a climate change action plan, Sustainable Change Cooperative used Ketso in a workshop with various stakeholders who needed to input into the plan. The aim of the workshop was to get wider input into thinking about key actions that are needed, actions that are already underway, and the possibility of involvement of the stakeholders in making actions happen. The three groups were each presented with 4 themes to work with and were first asked to identify what they saw as key actions that needed to be delivered under those themes. These were then added to the felt and each group discussed what had been written and whether more needed to be added. The stakeholders were then asked to detail any relevant actions that they were aware of that were already going on. Everyone was then asked to suggest where their organisations could contribute towards delivering the key actions identified and what that contribution might be. The final stage was to get each group to identify 5 priority key actions. Using Ketso allowed for a wide range of opinions and inputs to be gathered in the limited time available and ensure that there was a real opportunity to influence what needs to be a plan that is adopted by everyone.