“12 Thinking Tools for Bridges Out of Poverty Communities” by Philip DeVol is being presented in 12 separate blogs. The paper is for people who are already using Bridges concepts and want to deepen the work of their community collaboratives. Poverty is becoming increasing complex, requiring not only a new mindset but new tools that lead to out of the bubble solutions.

The first tool in the series outlines the concept of the “triple lens.” Per DeVol, “the triple lens is a structure by which poverty can be assessed and processed thoroughly. Looking at poverty through a single lens—be it individual, organizational, or community—will not provide the depth of understanding that comes from viewing poverty through all three lenses.”  To illustrate this framework, DeVol uses the following image:

Triple-LensHow to use the tool:

  • Use the triple lens to deepen understanding of the core elements of a Bridges workshop: the mental models of class, the causes of poverty, hidden rules, resources, and language.
  • When embedding the concepts in our organization or designing a new community program, the question becomes: “What would we learn by applying the triple lens?”

To gain further understanding, please read the full segment on this concept here.

Phil DeVol is co-author of Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities and author of Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by-World.