Capturing Perceptions with the User Perceived Value Method

“User-Perceived Value (UPV) refers to benefits, concerns and feelings and underlying drivers that vary in importance and act as the main motivators in the lives of the people—as perceived by the beneficiaries at a given time.”

Hirmer, S. (2017)

What’s the User Perceived Value Method?

At Rural Senses, we use a novel method: the User-Perceived Value Approach (UPV). It was developed by Cambridge and Oxford researcher and Rural Senses’ co-founder Dr Stephanie Hirmer. The UPV allows us to understand what is important to people and to effectively link this to project design and evaluation. By ensuring that projects target what local community members truly value, we increase the positive impact of projects and products.

What can you do with UPV?


Develop an in-depth understanding of the local conditions


Map UPVs to enable more responsible project planning


Integrate project planning to facilitate sectoral integration


Use appropriate messaging to increase buy-in


Measure the change in UPVs to evaluate project impact

More about UPV

The UPV approach, consisting of a game and mapping tool (‘UPV wheel’), provides a structured and visual process to identify and map what is important to local community members. Project end-users often cannot articulate and prioritise what they value and project developers can unwittingly influence beneficiary responses, leading to poorly conceived project designs.

The UPV approach addresses these weaknesses with simple visual tools and indirect probing to uncover what beneficiaries value most. Traditional social data, such as current infrastructure levels, can then be augmented by the factors (UPV) captured. This delivers a more rounded picture of community needs, values and wants, creating a foundation for better inventions at all stages of the project life cycle.

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