Adapting a person-centred planning tool for collecting qualitative data on an Indigenous research project

Gill Potaka-Osborne, Heather Gifford


Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH) is a person-centred planning (PCP) tool that draws on visual imagery. Originally used to assist individuals with disabilities to plan for the future, PATH aims to “unlock” the imagination freeing people to better picture a positive future whilst remaining grounded in the present. PATH has since been further developed by Indigenous communities to facilitate strategic planning; more recently being adapted for use in a Kaupapa Māori context, working with whānau (families), hapū (subtribes), and iwi (tribes). Our experience with PATH has been in its use as a data collection tool; specifically, in interviews with whānau. Our use of PATH draws on both Western and Kaupapa Māori approaches, building on Māori oral and visual traditions, in pragmatic ways. Using PATH, we triangulated qualitative data, fieldnotes, and case notes to evidence the effective prevention of chronic conditions among whānau. The advantages of using PATH included ease of adaption for a range of situations and validation of data with whānau at the time of interview. We believe this method is useful when working with whānau as it fits with Māori strengths-based values, is responsive to the worldview of participants, and is participatory.


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