Road journey Tiny Tool

Road journey diagrams chart a group or individual’s aims and compare the original aims to the actual developments in a community.

The Road Journey (summarised on page 6 of the resource) is one of the Tiny Tools developed by NGO-Impact on Development, Empowerment and Action (NGO-IDEA). This organisation consists of 14 German NGOs and 30 Southern NGOs from South Asia, East Africa and the Philippines who collaborate to develop new ways of assessing the effects of development interventions.

Tiny Tools are developed for communities to assess the change that happens around them. Tools facilitate structured reflection so communities can realise what change happened, come to understand what led to this change, become aware of how they can influence developments, and come to conclusions what they want to change in the short and medium term.


This description of how to use the tool is from NGO-IDEAs publication, Tiny Tools, Measuring Change in Communities and Groups: An Overview p.6

“Workshop participants draw a common road map. The road may be straight or winded, diagonally upwards or downwards. Buildings, bridges or other symbols are drawn to symbolize key events, opportunities, achievements, problems, obstacles, shocks or support received along the way. It may be necessary at some stage to redraw the map if ideas change during the discussion. Separate sheets may be drafted to go into further detail regarding the key symbols on the Road Map.

Forward looking maps can be used for strategic planning, whereas backward looking Road Journey Diagrams may be used for assessing what major changes happened and what successes or failures have been perceived.

Questions may be:

  • “Do we feel we have succeeded?”
  • “Have we changed along the way?”
  • “What were the main achievements and challenges?”
  • “Were the original objectives too ambitious or to limited?”
  • “What are implications for the future?””


Hand drawn map of a road winding through community

Advice for USING this tool (tips and traps)

This Tiny tool is designed to be used in conjunction with other tools. Triangulation of tools will increase the reliability and validity of findings.This tool will not answer questions on the reach of interventions. Different sources of information need to be combined to come to an assessment of the number of people whose lives changed.This tool is designed to be used in a participatory way. Whether the process is participatory or not will depend on the style of facilitation, the selection of participants and the general set-up.


Causemann B, Gohl E, Brenner V (2012) A.3. Road Journey Diagram, in „Tiny Tools“ Measuring Change in Communities and Groups. NGO Ideas. Retrieved from