Children for Health has created a learning system for teachers and youth workers to use if it helps!

Our Director, Clare Hanbury, was one of the key architects of the Child-to-Child ‘SIX STEP APPROACH’ (alongside many wonderful field partners!) and the six steps were an important feature of many of her Child-to-Child publications and training workshops. It’s probable that many people and programmes are still using it and find it helpful today (and we would love to hear from you!).

The Tricycle System is Clare’s updated version of ‘The Six Step Approach’ – it is both more simple and more complicated!

But it only exists to be a help – a kind of ‘thinking model’. It is NOT there to create any hard and fast rules or about your ideas about the way your programme can run best.

This model has emerged out of very many years of Clare using the six step model with practitioners in the field in numerous countries. She found that it did not quite capture everything that was going on in participatory projects with children. We think that TRICYCLE¬† ‘unpacks’ a bit more (like a suitcase) what is happening in really good participatory programmes we have seen and helped to create!

But be aware there are very many different kinds of “frameworks and models” and this is just ONE.

Save the Children have recently published an excellent book: Children’s Participation in Health and Nutrition and in this several practical models are described!

Children for Health’s Tricycle Method

Children for Health's Tricycle!

The Tricycle Method is based on the idea of the three wheels. As with this tricycle, all the wheels must turn for the project to move forward and make progress! The Tricycle system is based on an experiential learning cycle:


Each wheel has three parts.

The FIRST wheel is the wheel of LEARNING and is made of three parts.

  1. Identify: a issue of concern to us and/or our family and/or to our community.
  2. Understand: what we already know, feel and can/cannot do about the issue.
  3. Remember and discover: qualities and abilities we have to help us.

The SECOND wheel is the wheel of ACTION and is made of three parts.

  1. Action research: to connect the issues to our reality
  2. Dream and Plan: what do we want to do about the issue? (Goal setting) and what we can do to move towards the dream? (planning)
  3. Take Action!: Which will help us move towards the dream.

The THIRD wheel is the wheel of REFLECTION and is made of three parts.

  1. Assess: How we did!
  2. Create a Story and a Symbol: help us remember and understand the best bits that we did, the impact it has had on us and be able to communicate this powerfully to others.
  3. Presentation, discussion and analysis: review our work with others and decide what next?

When you are learning how to use this system, learn it WITH children. Bring them into your workshop, your seminar and your training programme. Make them a part of it. They will help you refine it, adapt it and make it work.

If you want to find out more about this, please contact us!