Immersions are a form of learning undertaken by aid organisations. They involve development professionals living with a host family in a poor community for a short period, helping with daily tasks and sharing in family life. The visitors gain a very real experience of the cultures and conditions of the people on whose behalf they are working. Immersions, which have become more widespread in the past 15 years, can have profound effects on how development professionals understand and carry out their work, as described by Robert Chambers in an Oxfam blog. The Reality Check Approach (RCA) website has a great deal of useful material about immersions and the reality check approach, and includes an introductory video by Dee Jupp.

Facilitating workshops for the co-generation of knowledge: 21 tips

This set of tips was written by Robert Chambers in January 2013, based on his 2002 book Participatory Workshops: A sourcebook of 21 sets of ideas and activities, which he refers to below as “PW.”

Most of these tips are generic and apply to all types of workshops for learning, and sharing and co-generating knowledge, but in the book there are many others which apply to specific workshop types.

About Participatory Methods

Participatory methods (PMs) include a range of activities with a common thread: enabling ordinary people to play an active and influential part in decisions which affect their lives. This means that people are not just listened to, but also heard; and that their voices shape outcomes.

Researchers, community members, activists and donors all use PMs. Because respect for local knowledge and experience is paramount, the result is interventions that reflect local realities, often leading to better supported and longer lasting social change.

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