“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)
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.
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
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.
“Coming to an understanding of what customers value is a far more fruitful
exercise than merely asking them to submit their own solutions”.
Ulwick (2002, p. 97)
Reach out to us to learn more about the UPV method and about how it can be applied to address your needs.