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Step 2: Reveal your assumptions

Now that you have mapped out your stakeholders and resources, it is time to go to Step 2: Reveal your assumptions.

Resources needed for Step 2:

(1) Download and review Reading 2 (pdf), an additional resource with practical examples to help you reveal your assumptions.
(2) Review pages 16-20 of the Step-by-step guide
(3) Once you have reviewed this material, download Worksheet 2: My Learning Agenda  and complete its “Assumptions” section.

Before you start, listen to the key messages Emeka and I have prepared for you below

To me, this is the most interesting and thought-provoking step in Responsive Feedback. Here is why. 

  • Take the time to really reflect on your assumptions. You will find it very rewarding. 
  • If you do it right, you may even get to the root cause of a challenge you have not been able to solve for a long time. 

 What exactly are you expected to do for Step 2? 

“Am I expected to fill out all the sections of the Learning agenda (Worksheet 2) for Step 2?” “What is a learning agenda?”

If you are wondering about these questions, my video message below will help you get the clarifications you need. As you listen, I suggest you to have Worksheet 2 open at the same time.

How to reveal your assumptions: A concrete example

Are you finding it difficult to reflect on your assumptions? I completely understand. Step 2 of Responsive Feedback can be challenging. If you get stuck, here is what I think you should do. 

Let me share a concrete example so you have a better idea of how it works.

Here, Emeka would like to share with you a lesson he learnt the hard way. 

In the IntegratE project, Emeka and his team started out with a key assumption that is backed by rigorous research evidence. However, it was exactly this assumption that led to the stagnant uptake of family planning services in Lagos State. Listen to Emeka to find out what happened. 

As shown in Emeka’s story, the importance of local “environment” or context cannot be overemphasized. 

As you reflect on your assumptions. I encourage you to think about the different factors in your environment or context that may influence your intervention or field implementation. They can often give you clues to where you may be making wrong assumptions.

Got questions for this step of Responsive Feedback or the resources? Share with me and your peers in the comments below.

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