Open-interviews are used to give the invisible side of the organization a voice. It gives an overview of the current situation. This process seeks to understand the will, psychological state and aspiration of the people, the mission and the non-visible force that is the organization; encompassing the past the present and the future.
It rests on the principles of Rapid Rural Appraisal developed by the Antigonish Movement, where external researchers used a combination of in depth interviewing, focus groups, workshops, story telling, to discover the issues concerns and beliefs held by the community or network. Participatory Rural Appraisal emerged as researchers realized the power in allowing the change to emerge by involving local people in the research process.
These techniques can be used as a foundation to a planning process, to evaluate the success of programs, to restructure existing systems or as a first step in getting to know the organization as a metaphysical force.