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Diversity
(gender, cultural, racial, socio-economic)

Diversity of ideas, as well as of participants, can be a big challenge for many facilitators. For example, in a planning workshop for HIV/AIDS prevention, representatives of sex workers and journalists may be brought together to develop a media strategy to reduce stigma and discrimination. In this case, the design of the workshop has to be “inclusive” and at the beginning of the workshop ground rules need to be set, with active participation of all, so that everyone has equal opportunity to participate and there is respect for all ideas no matter who states them.

There may be chauvinistic participants or some who are insensitive to racial, cultural or gender issues. As a facilitator, your role is to set up a non-threatening process for everyone to be encouraged to contribute. To deal with such participants, it may be worthwhile to include exercises or games that help the groups to reflect on their behaviour instead of trying to do “policing”. Experience shows that sometimes people are unaware of how their behaviour or attitudes affect others. Such people have to be gently made conscious/aware. Your role as a facilitator is not to harass or humiliate anyone but to help bring about the best in people so that effective group dynamics take place.

 
 
 
 
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Diversity (gender, cultural, racial, socio-economic)
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