User:Rkinakin/Introducing Participatory Approaches

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Introducing Participatory Approaches

A 60 minute session for approximately 15-20 people introducing the value, opportunities, and challenges to working in a participatory manner.

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At the end of the session, participants will be able to:
  • Describe the importance of participatory approaches, and
  • Identify some of the main advantages and challenges of participatory approaches.


  • Picture (a nice image, inspiring, preferably) from magazine cut up in pieces (same number as participants)
  • Flip-chart paper
  • Coloured markers
  • Tape
  • Introducing Participatory Approaches handout
  • Flipchart, Powerpoint slide, or transparency of Introducing Participatory Approaches handout (optional)

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This session has the following steps:
  1. (5 min) Pass out one piece of the magazine to each participant. Tell them you will begin this lesson by doing a Puzzle Game. Ask them to work together to complete the puzzle (tape the pieces up on a wall or flipchart paper).
  2. (10 min) Ask participants how they felt about that exercise. What was easy? Why? What was hard? Why? How did they resolve that? Record these insights on fliphchart.
  3. (10 min) Explain that the puzzle game is a participatory activity, people have to work together to get it done. Explain that we hear the terms “participation” and “participatory approaches” a lot. Donors and NGOs, etc REALLY like them! Ask, “But what are participatory approaches? Why are they important?” Brainstorm with the large group on a flipchart, getting a volunteer to record all ideas (this way the facilitator’s attention isn’t diverted by writing). Make any links with the ideas flipcharted on the Puzzle Game.
  4. (10 min) Thank the recorder and the group. Pass out handout on Introducing Participatory Approaches, and review each on the flipchart/transparency of Participatory Approaches handout (block out the Advantages/Disadvantages), again making any links from the puzzle game.
  5. (15min) Explain that we need to be aware that participatory approaches have advantages and disadvantages/challenges. Go through the handout of Advantages and Disadvantages. As you go, ask the group for any examples of these taken from their own life/work.
  6. (10min) By way of summary and wrap up, take down all notes (shut down the Powerpoint projector/tape closed the flipcharts) and get everyone to put away their handouts. Ask the group to explain: a) the importance of participation, and b) some of the advantages and challenges of participation. Close the session.