January 19, 2017


SWOC analysis, PASTE sheet

Argh, another post with strange sounding words in the title. I’ll try very hard not to write another one for a while now :) .

Let’s keep this as short as possible.

SWOC analysis

As I mentioned in my post about SADIMET, OBREDIMET and CEAP, SWOC analysis is a useful tool you can use to make sense of information that you gathered in the first phase of SADIMET – Survey. You use it in the Assess phase.

Constraints (or Challenges)

SWOC analysis is essentially the same as SWOT analysis, most commonly used in business. There, the first two components – Strengths and Weaknesses – are internal in nature (i.e. they are the features of the company or businessman), while the other two – Opportunities and Threats – are external (i.e. dealing with market conditions, global economy etc.).

In permaculture, no such clear distinction can be made. The closest we can get is to say that the Strengths and Weaknesses are characteristics of the intended design (a forest garden, a mandala garden, …) and the actual site, while Opportunities and Constraints account for our personal wishes and worries, as well as of those that might be affected by it.

Here’s what you should be asking yourself when doing SWOC analysis:
SWOC analysis

PASTE sheets


OK, when you’ve got the Assess phase of SADIMET covered, the next step is to Design. One of the many methods that are at your disposal are the PASTE sheets. It’s a very simple tool, actually. Here’s an example.
PASTE sheet
SWOC analysis and PASTE sheets are just two of the many different weapons in the permaculture arsenal.

Do you know any other? Have you ever used it? Would you like to know more about any one specific? Say it in the comments!

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  1. Paul says:

    Is the PASTE tool intended to be used to look at what is there at the start, or what you want to design into the site? Why use it in the design phase?

    • Ziga says:

      Paul, that’s a great question. Thanks for asking. I probably should have been more clear on that.

      PASTE sheet is used in the design phase, meaning you use it to display what you want to incorporate in your site, and how you want to do it.

      SWOC analysis, on the other hand, is used in the assess phase, when you analyze the conditions on site and how they affect our future design.

  2. katharine says:

    Hi, I use the PASTE and SWOC sheets at both stages, survey and design. PASTE to record what is there already, and then for the design to record wishes and needs. SWOC used at the assessment phase, but also when assessing individual design choices. I find these two methods very flexible and useful throughout a design process.

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