Assignment Four Discussion
Online Learning: OL 343 Adapting to Climate Change: The Community Focus.
Center for Sustainable Development

Assignment Four. Leading a Participatory Workshop to Assess Community Vulnerability and Adaptation Capacity

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 five 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.

From the needs that the participants voiced you developed a simple theory of change and a simple project outline. After a few weeks of fine tuning your project, you returned to the community to get their feedback on what you had designed for them.

If you did your job well, the community should have felt that you were working on their project for them. If they liked the project that you returned with they should by then have developed a sense of ownership; this was their project and you were simply supporting it.

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.

Giving Information
You’re going to begin the process of providing them with organizational tools designed to capture their knowledge about their community, about their coping skills within their livelihoods, about their perception of a changing climate, and about their coping skills within any changes in climate.

You’re going to work with them on four exercises. When the information from these exercises is combined with the information you researched in the first two assignments you will have a good view of the climate change context that the community finds itself in. This local knowledge will therefore be supported in conjunction with the scientific knowledge that you researched over the past few weeks.

Exchanging Information
On page 30 of the ‘CARE Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook’, there is a short section on facilitating workshops that you might want to scan; there are some great points there that you might be able to incorporate into your facilitation style.

Make the workshop as participatory as possible by keeping the exchange of information as conversational as possible. If you bring up comments or questions about the community members’ CC context in an effort to keep the workshop lively — make sure that they are directed towards getting responses and feedback from the participants: this isn’t meant to be a lecture. At the end of the workshop your participants should be able to see a wonderful visual collection of the knowledge and information that they provided. This will help them keep their sense of ownership of the project

Please send me photographs of your workshop!

Good luck — I look forward to hearing about your results — please move on to assignment four.


Tim Magee