The Rifkin diagram

Source: Schmidt and Rifkin, 1996

Five factors are used in the Rifkin diagram as dimensions along which participation can be integrated:
1. Needs assessment
2. Leadership
3. Organization
4. Resource mobilization
5. Management

A rating is used to measure the level of participation, from a continuum of wide (5) to narrow (1) participation. Criteria are set for the ranking in each dimension. These criteria are defined before processes commence according to desired social outcomes. They cover the extent to which communities are planning, implementing and evaluating within the factor. An assessment team uses an interview schedule to interview key informants on the defined criteria. The findings from the interviews are subject to the collective judgement of the assessment team, and the ranking and mark placed on the diagram through consensus from the assessment team. The diagram can be used to assess participation before and after interventions to evaluate change, to show differences between groups and to carry out pre-programme assessment to stimulate planning. The findings are used to stimulate structured discussion of conclusions and areas for action.

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