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Workshop on group facilitation skills for participatory decision-making

Facilitation skills are strategically important in the CGIAR, as staff are increasingly called upon to manage teams and participatory processes involving people from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, nationalities, and cultures. To address the challenges for effective communication and decision-making that arise in participatory processes, 21 researchers and team leaders from CIMMYT and other CGIAR centers gathered at El Batán during 5-8 September in a workshop led by Sam Kaner, a leading expert on consensus decisionmaking and senior author of the book The Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. Activities aimed to build essential knowledge, attitudes, and skills for participatory decisionmaking. Participants came from Philippines, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Italy, USA, and Mexico.

Participant Grant Singleton, IRRI researcher and Coordinator for Irrigated Rice Research Consortium, came away with very positive impressions: “Wow! What an action-packed workshop! We learned and role-played many useful facilitation techniques. Two highlights were the superb teaching skills of Sam and the great camaraderie among course participants. It was an excellent opportunity for me to meet many new CGIAR colleagues. Finally, I thank Petr Kosina and his CIMMYT colleagues for being most generous hosts.”