It was a great relief to read that we would probably be able to give a pretty good assessment of the progress and impact of the work we are doing. It all sounds a lot less daunting now.
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Metaphor and Analogy: Creating Meaning and Understanding Complexity (Praxis Note 9)
This paper illustrates the value of metaphor and analogy for assisting the development of analytical capacities in civil society organisations (CSOs) based on practical experience from the field. It presents observations of capacity building processes in three very different contexts in the western Balkans where organisations and community groups are struggling to find ways to comprehend and express the complexity of the environment in which they work.
The use of metaphor was introduced by facilitators with varying degrees of suggestion in the three contexts, but in all cases participants were encouraged to create analogy to real experience by using pictures, drawing, stories or commonly recognised objects or categories. The examples suggest that the generation of metaphor may assist individuals and groups to make sense of complexity through resorting to simple images. It may also help them understand abstract ideas and seemingly elusive processes, and generate new perspectives and models which form the basis for creating meaning.