Assignment Eight Discussion
Online Learning: OL 332 Water Conservation & Management
Center for Sustainable Development.

Assignment Eight. Leading a participatory workshop in a water management technique

This is going to be a very short discussion today because you have lots to do in preparation for your workshop.

In the very first workshop that you led six months ago using the 10 seed technique it was meant to be a purely participatory workshop. In other words you were facilitating the collection of information from your community without coloring it with your own voice.

Now, you are beginning to make their project real. This week you are going to hold another workshop and the exchange of information is going to be two-way. You’re going to provide information to the participants which they may not have had access to before. In this case it will be teaching them specific community level water management techniques that they can incorporate in their watershed. But the workshop still needs to be facilitated by you (as opposed to being run in a top-down fashion) and it should still have that participatory feeling.

The reason, is that you have worked hard over the past six months to develop a participatory relationship with them—and you don’t want to risk disrupting that. The second reason for maintaining the participatory feel is to continue their sense of project ownership. If your grant funding were to end in 60 days there’ll be a much greater likelihood of project activities continuing if the community feels ownership plan if they don’t.

Consequently, make the workshop as participatory as possible by keeping the exchange of information as conversational as possible. If you have invited an expert to participate, make sure that they understand this philosophical approach. If they don’t seem to get it, just use them in short bursts within the framework of your well facilitated participatory approach.

You can look at some of the facilitation guidelines in last week’s field guide on knowledge transfer for ideas.—Developing-Field-Guides-Lesson-Plans-and-Workshops.docx

Please send me photographs of your workshop!

Good luck—I look forward to hearing about your results—please move on to Assignment Eight.


Tim Magee