Participatory Systems Mapping for Municipal Prioritization and Planning

Paper by Amanda Pomeroy–Stevens, Bailey Goldman & Karen Grattan: “Rapidly growing cities face new and compounding health challenges, leading governments and donors to seek innovative ways to support healthier, more resilient urban growth. One such approach is the systems mapping process developed by Engaging Inquiry (EI) for the USAID-funded Building Healthy Cities project (BHC) in four cities in Asia. This paper provides details on the theory and methods of the process. While systems mapping is not new, the approach detailed in this paper has been uniquely adapted to the purpose of municipal planning. Strategic stakeholder engagement, including participatory workshops with a diverse group of stakeholders, is at the core of this approach and led to deeper insights, greater buy-in, and shared understanding of the city’s unique opportunities and challenges. This innovative mapping process is a powerful tool for defining municipal priorities within growing cities across the globe, where the situation is rapidly evolving. It can be used to provide evidence-based information on where to invest to gain the biggest impact on specific goals. This paper is part of a collection in this issue providing a detailed accounting of BHC’s systems mapping approach across four project cities…(More)”.