Course contents

    1. Welcome & objectives

    2. Course overview

    3. What are scenarios and why are they important?

    4. Personal survey (optional)

    5. Tips: Why exploratory scenarios?

    6. Key concepts quiz

    7. Resources

    1. How to get started

    2. Identifying the four parameters

    3. Tips: Approaching scenario building

    4. TIps: Framing your scenarios and identifying the parameters

    5. Exercise: Identifying your scenario parameters

    6. Tips: Cognitive bias, 'wisdom of the crowd' and fast and slow thinking

    7. Resources

    1. What do we already know and what do we need to find out?

    2. Elements that make up the ‘system architecture’

    3. Tips: Knowledge mapping & suspending probability

    4. Structural analysis

    5. Identifying the 'givens' (elements of stability)

    6. Identifying the uncertainties

    7. Tips: Stakeholder consultations

    8. Exercise: Developing a table of 'givens' and uncertainties

    9. Next steps

    10. Resources

    1. Developing assumptions

    2. Developing hypotheses

    3. Tips: Assumptions & uncertainties

    4. Next steps

    5. Exercise: Identifying assumptions and hypotheses

    6. Resources

    1. Building a credible story about the future

    2. Developing the scenario 'threads'

    3. Scenario narratives

    4. Defining monitoring indicators for each scenario

    5. Scenario triggers

    6. Exercise 1: Recognizing defining features or ‘burning questions’ in your context

    7. Tips: Defining indicators and triggers

    8. Exercise 2: Connecting hypotheses in your scenario ‘threads’

    9. Next steps

    10. Resources

    1. Building scenarios are only half the job!

    2. Impact analysis

    3. Tips: Assigning likelihood

    4. Key implications and considerations for your organization

    5. Presenting your scenarios and analysis

    6. Tips: Using the scenarios

    7. Tips: Interlinking scenario building with actor analysis

    8. Scenario-based planning and assessing robustness

    9. Exercise: Analysing the impact of your scenarios

    10. Next steps

    11. Resources

About this course

  • This course has been designed for humanitarian and development professionals. It is meant to help you make informed and strategic decisions when working in complex and changing contexts. Scenario building and planning will allow you to better manage uncertainties and enhance your opportunities to build better futures.
  • No prior experience of foresight analysis is required to take this course. After taking it, you will know what scenario building is, what steps to take to build robust exploratory scenarios, what to expect from this process, and how to use scenario analysis for strategic decision-making.
  • This course has been developed as a collaboration between the Context Analysis and Foresight Unit (CAFU) at Save the Children and the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership (CHL) at Deakin University. [Credits - Photo banner: Save the Children, 2020; Photo course card: Jonathan Hyams / Save the Children, 2018]