Using the Four Questions and Four Zones framework to deliver effective projects
The Four Questions and Four Zones framework is designed to help
community groups tackling climate change to maximise their success
by taking account of how change happens when planning, carrying out
and reviewing their activities. It can be helpful at all stages of
a project, from developing initial ideas
to final review and reporting. For example:
- Initial scoping: Once the issue you want to address has been identified, the framework can help you understand the current situation: what is holding back change and what might help move things forward. It can help to prioritise these issues and decide which the project could tackle directly and which may need the support and involvement of other community groups, the local authority, government agencies etc.
- Funding applications: The framework can be used to structure any funding applications, demonstrating that the community understands the issues and how the project will address them.
- Project design: At the start of the project use the framework to develop a project plan. The same process can be used to develop specific strands of the project, campaigns, events etc. Whatever you are asking people to do, make sure it’s easy for them to answer ‘yes’ to all four questions and that all four zones are helping rather than hindering the activity.
- Team briefing: Use it in the briefing and training of the project team and any partner organisations so everyone understands what the project is trying to achieve and how it aims to do that.
- Project reviews: Either ongoing, or at the end of the project, you can use the framework to help understand what works and what could be done differently. How easy was it for everyone to answer ‘yes’ to all four questions? Were there differences between groups? Did the project activities support change across all four zones? This learning can inform the continuing project or any follow-up stages.