The Agency: Africa updates

This week, the Agents head out to get public feedback about their local area to help shape their ideas. Assistant Facilitator Africa tells us more… 


With the rain beating down and the air with a touch of winter frost to it, I’d be lying if I told you this Saturday was particularly easy for anyone. But it’s the Agency tradition to always give it your all no matter what the circumstances are, and this week was no different as participants prepared to carry out their own questionnaire to members of the public to gain an insight into local demands in their area.

The session began with the Agents crafting four open-ended questions they would ask the public to help them identify a need for their idea, without going into too much detail about what their project idea is. Everyone wrote up about 10 different questions before eliminating them down to their strongest four.

The tutor, Bobbi, then got the group to write an opening speech they would use to approach people with, describing what the questionnaire is about and why they’d like them to take part. Next, the Agents were paired up to run through their questions with each other, ready to present them back to the whole group for one last round of feedback.

Back from lunch it was time to plunge into the deep end and hit the streets, fortunately the rain had now slowed down.  The task was simple; go out in pairs and ask as many people as possible, gather and write down answers.  Agents were also encouraged to approach relevant businesses and shops to gather further information. Emmanuel got a head start as he took to the basketball court conveniently next to Caius House (where our sessions are held), to quiz the basketball team and their coach.

Me, Djbril and Bobbi headed to the comforts of the Battersea Arts Centre on our own quest. After an hour and a half of separation we met back at Caius House and discussed what everyone’s experiences were in dealing with the public; sharing back all the information and how it affected the next steps they would take in developing their idea.

Using this crucial feedback, the Agents were now able to re-evaluate the need for their project in the local area and strengthen their respective pitches for funding.

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