Tool: FACETS® equaliser for reflexive practice

Estimated Time
2 hrs (plus optional stretch exercise)
Resource Type
TIPC Region

Reflexivity has emerged as a key capability for strengthening trust, participatory engagement and a learning mindset in TIP experiments. So how might we as practitioners and action researchers measure and develop our own reflexivity? This tool was designed in collaboration with the Association of Facilitators to help answer that question, adapting and building on a competency framework called FACETS®. The original framework has been shaped by insights from TIPC experiments to help TIP practitioners bring awareness to their reflexivity through a self-assessment of their own ‘practice’, ‘theory’ and ‘awareness’.

This Miro tool takes a group through a self evaluation exercise, focusing on the following areas of competence – these should not be seen as a blueprint, but rather as a series of prompts to initiate thinking:

  • Shared participation
  • Contracting and ethics
  • Adaptiveness
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Epistemic justice
  • Personal development
  • Group dynamics
  • Authenticity
  • Self-reflection

This tool is designed for group use in an online workshop. The questionnaire version is much easier to use, and more suitable for individual use and face-to-face settings.

Note that the tool assesses capabilities for reflexivity, rather than for TIP more broadly. See Component 4 for other capabilities identified by TIPC members as important for TIP.



Our thanks to Sandra Boni at INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), and Paloma Bernal-Hernandez, Bipashyee Ghosh and Ed Steinmueller at SPRU, University of Sussex Business School, for their input to this tool and feedback on concepts and versions. We are also grateful to Michael Bernstein at AIT/Arizona State University for review and extensive feedback.

Special thanks to Brian Watts, Bella Mehta and Katie Thomas at the Association of Facilitators (AoF) for sharing the FACETS® framework, and for collaborating on the adaptation of the model with TIP practitioners in mind. AoF is a membership organisation that provides supervision, training and accreditation, with an emphasis on experiential learning, reflective practice and peer assessment. 


Shaw, V., Watts, B., Zinkstock, E. (2022) FACETS equaliser for reflexive practice. Available at

Facilitators Instructions

Important: Duplicating the tool

This resource is a Master version of the tool. To use it, you will need to duplicate it to your own Miro account.

How to duplicate the Board

  • First, make sure you have your own Miro account. Researchers may be able to access a free educational plan for staff at educational institutions
  • Click on the ‘download’ link to access the Lab master board
  • Then click on the title
  • Click ‘duplicate’ – this will open another board with ‘Copy’ in the title
  • Rename the tool and save the URL

You will need to complete this process for each board. If you are using a tool with multiple groups, you can either: (a) create a different board for each group or (b) copy the tool multiple times on the same board. We recommend (b) to avoid confusion over board links.

If you are new to Miro, there is a short intro here.

If you accidentally change the Resource Lab Master, don’t worry! – please
leave a message in the feedback section below and the Lab team will be able to update it.

Reflections on TIPC use

The tool can be used by participants at any point in a TIP experimental process. While it has not been designed as an evaluation tool, its use could be embedded into a monitoring, evaluation and learning plan to:

  • help surface the roles practitioners play in a system, and the motivations and perspectives driving the theory of change;
  • monitor how levels of reflexivity are shifting through an intervention; or
  • support the personal learning and development of practitioners through their own continued dialogue with the competencies

The group mode of this tool will be most effective in settings where people know and trust one another and feel safe to express vulnerabilities and challenges.

4 thoughts on “Tool: FACETS® equaliser for reflexive practice

  1. Comments from one group at the preview session:
    – The tool prompted interesting discussion on, initially, how we hold others in project to account / move forward action > which when we dug deeper led to another conversation about what comes up for us when others do not do what we want or do things differently > and finally how we might think differently to cope with the often unstructured and chaotic nature of system change work, perhaps in informal organisations and communities. We concluded with some quite deep reflection and learning about this
    – The first two areas initially seemed quite similar (shared participation and contracting and ethics) but when we discussed further there is a difference that perhaps could be articulated better, i.e. that the first is more about inclusion and participation and the second more about clarity around expectations and accountability
    – The group felt that the blank areas might provide useful opportunities to add some areas that relate to organisational context (would need to be completed privately!), e.g. how committed am I to the team or the organisation running the experiment, how am I performing, am I delivering what I promised?
    – On practical use: the tool can be a little hard to move around and read/write on as many areas and competencies – one note space only for comment (with text sized the same as the competencies) would help. Also the sliders went a little bit bendy when we used them

    Plenary comments addressed:
    – The needs for baseline skills and training to develop reflective practice in TIP – common in some disciplines and work areas, but not at all in others
    – How a good baseline of trust is needed to use this tool with colleagues
    – How the tool could be used at the beginning of a project / team forming as a training tool and then at regular intervals throughout
    – The challenges of incorporating this type of tool into day-to-day project work

  2. Dear TIPC team,
    I believe that the title of epistemic justice is also confusing. I would change for open-mindedness if that is what it would be referred to, to simplify the language. Moreover, I believe that there should be a place in this tool that allows for including the capacities that are required for each project. For example, if there is a water project to implement better water governance, knowledge about governance, about the rules and institutions would be required. In comparison, if it is a project related to water infrastructure creation, this place should allow a space so that more technical capabilities are included and a way to facilitate the extraction of this other type of knowledge to make it applicable to different cases. Maybe a way could be to give examples, of other specific capabilities that could be assessed would be a way to go.

    Moreover, I like the final reflection that includes next steps, I would add there only a small conclusion about the existent capabilities found (and of whom are they, in case there is someone else’s capabilities that would be required for collaboration).

    Thank you again for these tools!

  3. I have one suggestion which might be of use here to strengthen the Adaptability bit.
    Sometimes, it’s difficult or even impossible to resolve differences between team members and stakeholders. A literature domain called paradox theory explores these situations. Its main argument is that any form of organizing raises multiple tensions (i.e. competing poles or options), and there are two ways of approaching these: contingency and paradox approaches.
    The aim of the contingency approach is to achieve a best fit between one’s own approach and others’ perspectives by choosing one pole over the other in specific situations. The tool currently takes this type of approach.
    The paradox approach holds that for certain types of tensions, a contingency approach may not achieve an effective response over the long term. What ends up happening is a pendulum-like swing from one solution to another. Instead, the aim of the paradox approach is to enable actors to live and thrive with tensions by attending to both poles of a tension simultaneously.
    For anyone interested in exploring the paradox approach further, a book aimed at practitioners was recently published: Both/and thinking by Smith & Lewis.

  4. Thank you Eva and Len for sharing excellent comments, which we will use to review the tool

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