Tips for Trainers : Communications maps - a participatory tool to understand communications patterns and relationships
Communication mapping is a participatory tool which is a simple and effective way to plot and understand how children communicate with the people in their lives. The tool was developed in Nepal while evaluating a school health programme, where children were taught simple health messages using the active learning methods of the Child-to-Child approach. Children spontaneously communicated these messages to their friends, family, and community and practiced healthy behaviour in their daily life. The communication map has also been used in other programmes involving children and young people, in Africa and Asia, the most recent being a national Life Skills programme for children affected by HIV in India. It is a visual tool, easy to administer and children in different contexts and countries have used it. The tool can be used at the beginning and at the end of a programme, with an intervention and a non-intervention group providing concrete and quantifiable evidence regarding communication patterns.