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What are Participatory Processes?

Participatory Processes (PP) are specific methods employed to achieve active participation by all members of a group in a decision making process. The approach can be used for most issues and should give equal opportunities for everybody involved. The primary goal is to create productive discussions to develop positive solutions. Method selection is dependent on what the participants want to achieve, as each method employs different processes and outcomes.  Each method should be viewed holistically as a certain way of thinking, rather than as an individual tool. 

Change the World has collected and surmised some of the most successful PP to serve as inspiration for small and large groups of people who wish to optimize cooperation and create a fun working environment. The information presented here will get you started, and if you would like more information about a particular type of PP there is a lot more information to find on the World Wide Web.

We would like to give a special thank you to Kirsten Paaby from Idébanken and  Truls W. Gedde-Dahl from "Fondet for Lokale helseforsøk"  (FFLH) for sharing with us their knowledge and enthusiasm about the Participatory Process .

Simple guidelines for all Participatory Processes

 

Change the World- Participatorial Process 1

  • TIME MACHINE:  <------ NEW METHOD
    Time Machine is a funny way to engage a group to dream the vision for thier work in the future.

  • CAFÉ DIALOGUE:
    Café dialogue is a fun, informal and effective way to discuss and come up with new solutions to particular challenges.

  • FUTURE WORKSHOP:
    Future workshop is designed to engage participants to produce an action plan to address a specified theme.  This method is ideal for 15-20 people.
  • PICTURE CIRCLE:
    Picture circle encourages the participants to express their ideas and dilemmas in a relaxing, creative and understanding atmosphere.

  • SPEED DIALOGUE:
    Speed-dialogue is useful if you have limited amount of time and want to achieve quick participation in a discussion or reflection. It can be used both before and/or after a presentation or a seminar.
  • NETWORK CIRCLE:
    Network circle creates a relaxed atmosphere for future dialogue by finding shared interests and similarities amongst the participants. It is particularly suitable for large groups.

  • FISHBOWL CONVERSATION:
    Fishbowl conversation is advantageous method for allowing a large group to contribute to a conversation about a selected topic. 
  • OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY:
    Open Space Technology is a workshop process to run creative and productive meetings.  Open Space Technology is functional for five to 5000 participants.

  • OPERA:
    OPERA is a method for running faster, better meetings.
  • TALKING STICK:
    Talking Stick is a simplistic method for creating calm and thoughtful dialogue within a small or large group. 
  • FRUIT SALAD:
    Fruit Salad is an energizing method best used when participants are tired or as an ice breaker for a new group.

  • DOTMOCRACY:
    Dotmocracy is a facilitation process for prioritizing ideas among a large number of people.

Change the World- Participatorial Process 2

  • LET DO IT – CLEANUP (ESTONIA):
    Let’s Do it – Cleanup is a project in Estonia that organized a day to cleanup illegally dumped waste in nature areas throughout the country.
  • GOALS FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS - NORWAY:
    Fruit Salad is an energizing method best used when participants are tired or as an ice breaker for a new group.

  • CITIZEN'S PARLIAMENT (AUSTRALIA):
    Citizen’s Parliament is an innovative citizen engagement process whereby randomly selected citizens come together to develop a report using participatory processes and present the report to the government.

  • IDEAS FOR CHANGE AMERICA (USA):
    Ideas for Change in America is an on-going online project whereby ideas are voted by members of the online community and top rated ideas are made known to the Obama Administration and members of Congress.



Simple guidelines for all Participatory Processes

- Be open, flexible and humble towards each other. Give everybody a chance to speak, participate and listen to each other even if you might disagree.

- It is often easier to develop trust by working in smaller groups.

- Do not pressure anyone to participate. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable to be involved straight away, ask them to be timekeepers, moderators or help in another capacity.

- If the participants do not know each other from before, it can be wise to have homogenous groups (e.g. divided by gender, age, job etc.) to increase participation. Once the participants know each other and feel more secure and comfortable it may be more productive to have mixed groups.

- Use open questions (e.g. questions that start with who, what, where, when and how) rather than questions that require yes/no answers. Open questions are more productive and require the participants to think through their answers.

- Plan to have enough time to go through all of the stages in the process, particularly the end stage and the evaluation stage, both of which can be the most valuable.


[Source: Friendship North/South (www.vennskap.no) and Idebanken (www.ideabanken.no)]

 

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-2 #2 luigi4235 2015-03-02 18:37
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-1 #1 luigi4235 2015-02-13 12:24
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