What exactly is 'the' PIE?

Is it a description?  Is it an idea?

Is it a good idea, a recommendation?

Is it an approach - or a list of things to do?

Is it a 'framework'?  If so - for what?

Is it a worldview, a philosophy, with values?

If so - where did they come from?


The term 'PIE' first appeared in print, technically, in an article in a mental health journal, aiming to describe to mental health services, some of the more positive, creative, even innovative work being done by homelessness services with many of the people and mental health needs that mental health services did not reach.

By the time the term appeared in print, it had already been adopted 'on screen' by the (then) Department of Communities and Local Government in a guidance document (apparently the first ever to be issued solely on-line, as a pdf). Here, it was positively commended; and in response to many requests, a follow up paper in 2012 went into further detail, advising how to go about developing a PIE.

In the years since, the concept and the practice have both evolved, in tandem (or 'in dialogue'); and in some accounts or versions, it may be described as a model, and can be more prescriptive. In some circles it becomes an expectation, even a requirement - though not necessarily with any real clarity about what exactly is being required. There is talk of 'the' PIE being 'implemented', as if if were a fully detailed programme, worked out in advance, that must be put into place and carried out.

That is not the view we have here.  In our view, it is best to see 'the' PIE - including, that is, all the advice here, on the PIElink - as a lens, through which you can look at services. What you then see determines what you might then decide to do.

But it is not the lens that tells you what to do; it's the looking.


NB: This insistence on a frontline-led, bottom-up, action learning model of development - as embodied in the Pizazz process - is nevertheless arguably an ethical or even a political stance. For more exploration, see also 'The ethics and politics of PIE' : HERE

Further background reading/listening/viewing

Is the PIE evolving?  (Summary)  (PIElink page) : HERE

Development in dialogue (PIElink page) : HERE

PIEs assessment (PIElink page) : HERE

The ethics and politics of PIE : HERE


Library items

New concepts for new needs: HERE

Non-statutory guidance : HERE

Psychologically informed services : HERE