Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland

Ketso – a creative and participatory workshop toolkit

Nancy Njiraini is a postgraduate student at the University of Glasgow, School of Education. She is also a GRAMNet/Ketso intern. Contact:


GRAMNet is offering a free opportunity for you to get involved in using an innovative tool, Ketso. Ketso is a hands-on kit for creative engagement, useful in encouraging ideas and thoughts from everyone participating. Ketso uses a workshop approach with a facilitator to form a structured way of encouraging participation and to prompt discussions. Ideas are written down on re-usable material and the information is captured in a succinct structure. GRAMNet is offering to work with GRAMNet partners, researchers and staff members at the University of Glasgow between May and October 2013 – setting up, facilitating and processing results of your workshops, group discussions or meeting using Ketso. This will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

The Ketso Kit

ketso-1Ketso is a practical toolkit that can be used for multiple scenarios to encourage creativity in presenting and sharing ideas. The information is captured in a visual format as it develops and can be kept for future review or further discussion. Ketso can be used at different stages of a project such as planning, development, as well as implementation. The kit is made of materials with movable pieces, which enables participants to be hands on and begin to build a shared picture of what they are thinking. The kit is set out on a table top and participants are encouraged to write their ideas and thoughts on different coloured ’leaves’. This gives each participant an opportunity to express their ideas freely. Communicating and sharing ideas this way can be effective in managing challenges often associated with group dynamics, such as overassertive participants, or a lack of input from those who are shy and less inclined to speak.

A Ketso kit comes in a bag containing all the items you will need to run your workshop. You will have plenty of leaf shaped cards for ideas to be written on and water soluble pens. These allow the ink on the leaves to be washed off ready for use the next time. Ketso was developed out the need for a practical way of engaging with everyone who was part of a project. Ketso means ‘action’ in Sesotho, a language spoken in Lesotho, where Dr Joanne Tippett, the founder of Ketso, came up with this idea in the mid 1990s. Giving each person an opportunity to share ideas offers a sense of identity and ownership of projects, rather than having programmes or solutions imposed on them without consultation.

Ketso in use

The kit has been used successfully in GRAMNet for planning, developing ideas and gathering data in participatory workshops with a wide range of stakeholders. It is also used in a range of contexts including: environmental planning, community development, health and wellbeing, teaching and research in more than half of the universities in the UK, as well as in businesses. Ketso is also currently being used in universities and projects all over the world: in, Peru, Bangladesh, USA, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Palestine, Finland, Netherlands, Iceland and many more. Below are a few examples of recent Ketso in use.


GRAMNet has used Ketso to engage with refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland. This has been useful in encouraging vulnerable participants to engage without feeling as if they are being questioned or interviewed. It has been useful in ensuring everyone’s voice is included when engaging with stakeholders.

Teaching, learning and researching

Ketso has been used to get students to explore together and discuss what they have learnt. Students can use the kit to plan group work. In supervision, Ketso has been useful in exploring different directions particularly when working on a dissertation In researching, Ketso has been used from the initial stages of reviewing possible research questions, to data collection, and reporting. GRAMNet has used Ketso in their Collaborative Masters degree programme.

Community planning conferences

Ketso was recently used in an annual conference for a local council in Scotland. This conference gave residents of the local area a voice in the planning of future activities. In this particular conference, over 450 participants were involved and the council used Ketso for gathering input into their future plans. The organisers were pleased by the level of engagement and the manner in which the Ketso kits enabled everyone to express their thoughts and ideas.

Working with you

The team at GRAMNet has several Ketso kits available. We would like to work with organisations that are planning workshops, seminars, group discussion or other group sessions. We will work with you to facilitate a Ketso workshop and to process the results using Ketso open source tools.  Our process will include establishing the aims of your event or activity, working out the basic points of discussions key to the success of your event and then preparing a workshop plan, working along with the new Ketso Linked-in User Group. We will facilitate the event for you using our Ketso Kit if you do not already have one of your own. At the end of the event, we can either show you the Ketso way of analysing the information gathered, or we can process it together to come up with a report for your workshop.

We hope that by using Ketso, you will have an opportunity to explore a different way to run workshops that encourage creativity and you will be able to generate more ideas useful for your organisation. You are welcome to contact us on the details shown below to discuss further about this opportunity or to ask questions. You can also find more information on the Ketso website where you will find a library of resources to support users and more examples of Ketso in use.

Free workshop in Glasgow

The Ketso team would like to invite you to a free workshop in Glasgow to explore how you may be able to use Ketso in your work. Dr. Joanne Tippett, the founder of Ketso and a lecturer in Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Manchester, will lead this morning workshop. It will provide an opportunity to learn from each other about stakeholder engagement as well as to explore Ketso. Joanne will discuss the different ways Ketso can be used for internal and external engagement, and will give hints and tips for planning and running a workshop with Ketso.


Date: Thursday June 13, 2013

Venue: Community Central Hall, Maryhill, Glasgow

9:30 tea and coffee available

10:00 – 13:00 workshop

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (and an opportunity to also meet Ketso customers in Scotland)

To book a place, please contact or call 07586 260031 if you have any questions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 25, 2013 by in Comment.
%d bloggers like this: