2.4.3 Sequencing, calendars and charts

These techniques can be carried out with small groups of people such as a family, lower caste women or elderly men. Here we describe a seasonal calendar and a daily activity chart. The seasonal calendar will identify seasonal patterns of change over a year, while the daily activity chart will help you to understand how people spend their time over the course of a day.

Seasonal calendars

Seasonal calendars reveal the availability of resources such as food or income, work and migration. It will help us understand when there is not enough income and when family members may have to go and work somewhere far away. It will tell us something about the relationships that people build up to enhance their livelihood. This technique may tell us that when crops are harvested there may be more money for other assets. When the weather is colder there may be less money as there are no crops and greater need for firewood. More money may be spent on medicines, as people get sicker in the cold.

Importantly it can also tell us about festivals and other major events, which can inform your initiative's activities. This technique can also tell us when media content could address a seasonal lack of firewood, encourage the storing of wood for the winter and teach people how to safely keep firewood. This could in turn enhance peoples' health and wellbeing.

Daily activity charts

These charts are useful in understanding how different people spend their work and leisure time. It will help you understand how to encourage people to participate in your initiative's programme, by adapting your programme to better suit the people you want to include. This technique also helps us explore and understand different people's roles (i.e. gender) and responsibilities in the community.

As an additional resource, for those EAR researchers with a specific need to explore poverty, we have provided a set of examples of participatory techniques and related them to poverty, livelihoods, gender, health and education. This may work as a guide for your use of participatory techniques.