!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: The Positive Deviance Initiative

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Positive Deviance Initiative

Since I first wrote about the Positive Deviance Initiative (PDI) a year ago, the organization's website has been enriched with a range of additional resources.

The most important, dating from May of this year, is a Basic PD Guide (pdf), consisting of twenty-seven slides detailing the steps in the positive deviance (PD) process. Those looking to try the process themselves will find summaries of:
  • When to use the process

  • Guiding principles

  • General advice on how to proceed

  • Effective facilitation techniques

  • Types of questions to ask at each step of the process

  • Self-evaluation questions for facilitators

  • Preconditions for success

  • The six basic steps in the process
The diagram below is an example from the guide showing how the PD process was carried out in a project aimed at improving maternal and newborn care in Pakistan.

(click to enlarge)
(Positive Deviance Initiative, Basic PD Guide — pdf)

The guide concludes with reproduction of some sample PD tools. Those and additional tools (all pdf) are available at the PDI website, including:

General Tips for Good Facilitation

Tips for Asking Questions

Discovery and Action Dialogue (DAD) Cheat Sheet (geared particularly to looking for ways to reduce hospital-acquired infections)

Generic PD Presentation (22 slides)

Feedback Questions after Discovery and Action Dialogue (action planning, building momentum, assessing the degree of success of the dialogue in terms both of producing actionable ideas and of adhering to a healthy PD process)

There are several tools specifically geared to education projects:

Sample Group Discussions

Identifying Positive Deviants

Household Visit and Interview Guide

The above lists are only a small sampling of the material available at the PDI website. Anyone interested in delving into the details of how the PD process works, and the stories of real-world examples of how it has been carried out in practice in numerous projects used around the world, will find time spent browsing the site produces a wealth of insight.