Dr. Judith M. Newman

Participatory Workshops

A Facilitators' Guide to Participatory Workshops with NGOs/CBOs Responding to HIV/AIDS

Published by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance


This guide aims to support people who facilitate participatory workshops with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) responding to HIV/AIDS in developing countries. It is based on the practical experiences of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (the Alliance). The Alliance is an international NGO that supports communities in developing countries to prevent the spread of HIV, support and care for those infected and ease the impact of HIV on families and communities. Since its establishment in 1993, the Alliance has provided both financial and technical support to over 1,500 HIV/AIDS projects and has worked with NGOs and CBOs from over 40 countries.

The Alliance recognises that all facilitators have their own ideas and style and that this is a great strength. This guide is not a manual with step-by-step instructions. Instead, it builds on the principle that good facilitation is often the result of careful preparation, so it includes ?ideas boxes?, shown with a , key things to remember and pieces of advice from experienced facilitators on how to respond effectively and creatively to the needs of workshop participants.

Participatory approaches are widely used to encourage the involvement of those directly affected. Learning through drawing, role-plays and small group work allows people to become actively involved in the process, without worrying about their official status or their ability to communicate formally. For HIV/AIDS work these techniques can be particularly useful when exploring sensitive issues, for example people?s sexual experiences, vulnerability and risk.

This guide does not attempt to explore how participatory approaches can be applied to different aspects of HIV/AIDS work. The Alliance documents this information in the form of toolkits (training manuals) on specific subjects. These toolkits include examples of participatory tools and activities which can be used to help people discuss different issues. Instead, this guide aims to be an ?ideas book? of shared experiences to help facilitators prepare for participatory workshops. This guide may also be useful to people who facilitate meetings and planning activities using participatory techniques.
Further information about toolkits and other publications is available from the Alliance website: www.aidsalliance.org.


This is an extract from A Facilitators' Guide to Participatory Workshops with NGOs/CBOs Responding to HIV/AIDS, published by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in November 2001.

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