FEB21 – Role of the facilitator

FEB21 – Role of the facilitator

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    10 Comments
    • Gabriella Solano

      February 23, 2021, 10:48 am

      I found these guidelines really helpful and important to keep in the forefront of a facilitator’s mind. A question I have is how to balance letting go of power while also providing a framework for conversation and guiding participants.

    • Lee Kane

      February 23, 2021, 7:10 pm

      A thought around the dual role of some professionals when facilitating. Where you are facilitating a project with a group that you know and already work with, it is difficult (impossible?) to separate your role as facilitator of the project from your role in supporting the participants more generally. For example, a Youth Rights Worker (in my organisation) provides a range of supports for young people, including advocacy support. Where that YRW also facilitates a project with the same young person, it is difficult to separate the two roles. Therefore, where a participant needs support beyond the boundaries of the project, this cannot be separated out from the project.

      • PhotoVoice Training

        February 25, 2021, 10:44 pm

        Interesting is this how it works in your case? If so would it be useful to have someone else facilitate that is not also have the support role. On another hand it might be useful to know the participants and what support they might need and also how to provide it.

    • Anne Foss-Durant

      February 23, 2021, 8:50 pm

      I found the information a helpful and appreciate the checklist in the manual. I am considering using a cultural liaison in my project to assist with recruitment of participants and possibly facilitation. As an executive of the community hospital and a non-Asian/Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander it may be difficult for me to bridge the cultural barriers without this support.

      • PhotoVoice Training

        February 25, 2021, 10:46 pm

        Hi Anne, we are big advocates for working in partnerships and organisations that are very familiar with the community groups you plan to work with. This would be a really good way to consider all the safeguarding issues and perhaps co-facilitation with the partner organisation might be a good idea as well. If possible at all.

    • Jo Irvine

      February 24, 2021, 10:07 am

      When beginning a group it is so important to have a group agreement that the group have designed and ALL the group fully understand. understanding group dynamics will really help as a facilitator. While I always have a session plan, I have always been flexible when running groups to allow for discussion and in doing this it has allowed me to build working relationships with the group members.

    • Sofie Thorsen

      February 24, 2021, 10:25 am

      – Does it work to have more than one facilitator in a workshop, or do you need to then define roles like ‘facilitator’ and ‘observer’ or something like that?
      – What are the ‘effects’ of having someone else – lets say an assistant – doing the practical communication and coordination with participants in-between workshops – is it important the facilitator is the main person in contact with participants throughout the entire process, outside of the workshop itself?
      – What are good ice breaker games if the conversation gets stuck somewhere?

      • PhotoVoice Training

        February 25, 2021, 10:54 pm

        Hi Sofie,

        So we highly recommend co-facilitation. That can be someone taking notes during the sharing sessions and generally being a point of contact for the participants. The co-facilitator is present at every session so the group would have the same level of comfort with them as they would have been embedded in the group from the start. We would not recommend introducing external people which have not been part of the group from the beginning. Having said that having many co-facilitators and staff involved has been an issue in the past so that is also something to think about 2 facilitators will be ample for a group of 12, a lot more than that starts to create another level of power disbalance.

        Ice breakers are really important and we have a list of a few in the handbook as well as we have a list of virtual ice breakers which I can sound round if of interest. Depending on the length of the sessions you might want to introduce ice breakers, however, bear in mind that a lot of the photo activities can also be viewed as more active and ice breakrer-ish. You would need to consider active ice-breakers, if people have been primarily sat down and listening or engaging in discussions. So we would recommend some alternate active vs discussion based activities in very one session.

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