Quantified organisational vision journey for Duhamic, Rwanda

GALS Diagrams

Drawing and diagrams are powerful analytical tools that help people at all levels to think clearly and creatively about complex issues, and to communicate this analysis clearly to other people. GALS develops ideas from information graphics, concept mapping and graphic design to facilitate analysis, innovation and equal communication between stakeholders from those without formal education to the most powerful.

GALS starts with:


and adapts four basic diagram types:

These tools are adapted and sequenced in specific ways, depending on the nature of the issue and process.

Each of these diagram tools can also be used individually and adapted in many different ways for analysis, planning and tracking. For more details see 'Thinking it Through with Diagrams'

Quantified vision for 70 participants at a GALS Catalyst training for new members of New Home, Uganda.


Visions give inspiration and direction to planning. Without a clear vision it is difficult to see where one is going and easy to get discouraged by challenges that will arise on the way. Visioning is therefore the basis and starting point for any GALS process - drawn at the beginning of each stage and for different purposes, then continually revisited to assess progress. Visions can be drawn by individuals, households and groups.

Soul-mate Visioning is a way of helping groups and organisations clarify their goals, share these with others and for an organisation or project to work towards a consensus vision that brings everyone on board.

Diamonds are used as a more precise visioning tool that can be used to identify context-specific criteria and measurable indicators on any issue including gender justice, specific dimensions of the CEDAW framework, food security and any other intervention goals.

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Vision Journey showing monitoring system.
Leadership Vision Journey for youth by Lickson, Vuasu Cooperative Union, Tanzania.


The underlying framework for all GALS processes is the 'Road Journey' change planning tool. This is of two basic types that can be combined or done separately: Vision Journeys look to the future. Achievement Journeys assess lessons from the past.

The basic Road Journey framework can be adapted to any issue. Each has:

  1. vision
  2. current and past situation
  3. opportunities (top of the road), challenges (bottom of the road)
  4. time bound targets
  5. actions to go from target to target.

This Journey is tracked over time to assess progress, and also reasons for progress or lack of it.

The first Vision Journey (individual) is a simple plan to achieve one or more elements of a bigger vision. Vision Journeys following the same principles are then adapted and drawn for planning of different visions at each stage.

Types of vision journey include:

  • Business Calendar Journey

    A business plan with month by month breakdown of inputs and outputs.
    How to Do It : Coffee Vision Calendar
  • Leadership Vision Journey

    A plan to become a leader (tool forthcoming)

  • Organisational Multilane Vision Journey

    This is a core GALS monitoring tool. It combines targets and plans on the core intervention targets (eg livelihoods, coffee production, health), gender balance and leadership on one diagram that is tracked over time.
    How to Do It : Multilane Vision Journey for coffee

    Road Journeys are progressively refined using other types of diagram tools that are adapted and sequenced in specific ways, depending on the nature of the issue and process. Each of these diagram tools can also be used individually and adapted in many different ways for analysis, planning and tracking.

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Gender balance tree showing green and red fruits


Trees start from a trunk representing an issue or an institution like a household or community. Inputs are then shown as roots and outputs as branches. In GALS trees also have fruits or concrete action commitments. They may also have circular linkages from branches to roots to show cycles of cross-fertilisation.

Types of trees include:

  • Gender Balance Tree:

    The Gender Balance Tree identifies gender inequalities in work contribution and expenditure benefits in the household and the changes needed for gender balance to make the tree grow straight.
    How to Do It : Gender Balance Tree

  • Livelihood Tree:

    Livelihood Trees are a ‘snapshot’ planning tool to examine existing costs and income structure for particular economic activities and how incomes can be increased through changing costs and/or expenditures to enable reinvestment and savings.
    How to Do It : Household Coffee Tree

  • Challenge Action Tree:

    Challenge Action Tree (an action-oriented adaptation of a ‘problem solution tree) examines the causes of challenges, potential solutions to reach a vision and action commitments needed by individuals to move forward.
    How to Do It : Increasing Incomes Challenge Action Tree

  • Impact Tree

    Any of the above trees can be quantified over time as a monitoring tool.

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Participant from Catalyst workshop, SMS Kenya draws on the collective Empowerment Leadership Map.
Chairwoman of Bukonzo Joint presents the circle map of informaiton and power flows in their Management Information System.


Circle maps (also known as Venn or chapati diagrams) show the common and distinct features between different elements represented as overlapping circles. They are used for analysis of interrelationships and power relations. Examples of Circle Maps include:

  • Empowerment Leadership Map

    looks at support networks and power relations to plan and track peer sharing.
    How to Do It : Empowerment Leadership Map
  • Market Map

    market map to look at possibilities for market diversification and increasing gender balance in markets: To download details of how to use this tool for coffee.
    How to Do It : Coffee Market Map
  • Institutional governance map

    institutional governance map to look at inter-organisational power relations and how they can be changed.
    How to Do It :(forthcoming)
Women's diamond for decision-making, Bukonzo Joint, Uganda.


Diamonds are used to deepen visions, establish SMART indicators and specfic targets, and for rapid impact assessment.Examples include:
  • Gender Justice Diamonds

    How to Do It : forthcoming
  • Violence Diamonds

    How to Do It : forthcoming
  • Property Diamonds

    How to Do It : forthcoming
  • Decision Diamonds

    How to Do It :forthcoming
  • Work Diamonds

    How to Do It : forthcoming
  • Leadership Diamonds

    How to Do It : forthcoming

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