Can a facilitator also be an educator? Un facilitateur peut-il être aussi un éducateur?

Dear All,

Please share your thoughts and experience on the following questions raised by contributions to The Constellation’s 2019 Report: 

Why can’t a facilitator also be an educator?

In the context of the SALT-CLCP approach, how can expert information be shared when it is needed in isolated, hard to reach places?

Best regards, 

Marie

P.S.: Here is an extract of The Constellation website https://www.communitylifecompetence.org/our-approach.html

Bonjour,

Les questions suivantes sont soulevées par des contributions au rapport 2019 de La Constellation : 

Pourquoi un facilitateur ne peut-il pas être aussi un éducateur ?

Dans le contexte de l'approche SALT-CLCP, comment peut-on partager des informations d'experts lorsqu'elles sont nécessaires dans des endroits isolés et difficiles d'accès ?

D'après votre expérience, qu'en pensez-vous?

Bien à vous, 

Marie

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In order to think about this question, I need to ask myself, "Why am I a facilitator (or educator)?"

In the context of the Constellation, those are easier questions to answer. I am a facilitator in order to stimulate, or to support, people to take action in service of a challenge that they face. If the community takes action, then I don't mind whether you want to call me a facilitator or an educator.

I don't think that this is the end of the thinking. I need to consider whether my facilitation/education stimulates and supports action in the short term, but in the longer term make the community dependent on the support that I am offering them. I have to be looking for the indications that the community needs me in order to take action.

I find these more concrete questions more easy to deal with rather than the more abstract distinctions between educator and facilitator.

Phil

Hello Phil, thank you for your reply reminding that goal is that the community takes action and continues to do so in the long term.

For readers of this 'Request', please note that there is a distinction to be made between external facilitators and local community facilitators (called champions in Assam). Making sure that the community does not need one to continue to take action is of course a requisite for external facilitators.

Thank you Marie for raising such a question. 

Here are my thoughts: (french at the bottom...)

A facilitator is a animator whose main role is to stimulate discussion and reflection within a group or community. Asking the right questions to provoke reflection within the group. In the implementation of the SALT/PCCV methodology, this function should be carried out by a person with sufficient humility to step back from the overall reflection of the group so that the group can identify its own solutions/actions. This reflection should take place within the group and not from the group to the facilitator. This humility is important in order to eliminate as much as possible a hierarchical relationship between the group and the facilitator.

Giving the responsibility of facilitation to an "educator" or a staff usually responsible for giving information or instructions (informant, sensitizer etc...) re-establishes this hierarchical relationship (I know and you don't know...) and provokes a polarization of exchanges within the group towards what the facilitator thinks and an expectation of ideas and solutions from the facilitator-educator. He is then perceived as a reference and the group will seek to validate or invalidate the solutions/actions envisaged. In this way, the emergence of original solutions that are likely to attract the overall support of the group members is eliminated, as is the "right to make mistakes", which is a source of learning. Not to mention the " disempowerment " of the actions that will follow.

The facilitator should appreciate not the solutions/actions proposed, but the efforts and work done by the group to identify and implement these solutions.

Regarding the 'technical' value of the proposed solutions/actions, the facilitator - as far as possible - should not intervene (and have a value judgement) on the validity of the proposed solutions/actions. Even if he or she himself or herself has sufficient knowledge to validate or invalidate the choice made by the group. His or her role will be to link the group with the knowledge holders who can then advise (give their opinion) the group on the validity of these solutions. In this way, the facilitator preserves the group's capacity for initiative in the search for solutions.

_________ French version __________

Un facilitateur est un animateur dont le principal rôle est de stimuler une discussion, une réflexion au sein d’un groupe ou d’une communauté. Poser les bonnes questions pour provoquer la réflexion au sein du groupe. Dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre de la méthodologie SALT/PCCV, cette fonction devrait être assurée par une personne faisant preuve d’une humilité suffisante pour se mettre en retrait de la réflexion globale du groupe afin que ce dernier puisse identifier des solutions/actions qui lui sont propres. Cette réflexion doit se faire à l’intérieur du groupe et non pas du groupe vers le facilitateur. Cette humilité est importante afin d’éliminer au maximum un rapport hierarchique entre le groupe et le facilitateur.

Le fait de donner la responsabilité de la facilitation à un « éducateur » ou un personnel habituellement responsable de donner des informations ou des instructions (informateur, sensibilisateur etc…) rétablit ce rapport hierarchique (je sais et vous ne savez pas…) et provoque une polarisation des échanges au sein du groupe vers ce que pense le facilitateur ainsi qu’une attente d’idées et de solutions venant du facilitateur-educateur. Il est alors perçu comme une référence et le groupe cherchera à valider ou invalider les solutions/actions envisagées. On élimine ainsi l’émergence de solutions originales et propres à susciter l’adhésion globale des membres du groupe, et en grande partie le « droit à l’erreur », source d’apprentissage. Sans parler de la « desappropriation » des actions qui suivront.

Le facilitateur doit apprécier non pas les solutions/actions proposées, mais les efforts et le travail fait par le groupe pour identifier et mettre en œuvre ces solutions.

En ce qui concerne la valeur « technique » des solutions/actions proposées, le facilitateur - autant que possible - ne doit pas intervenir (et avoir un jugement de valeur) sur la validité de ces dernières. Même si lui-même a la connaissance suffisante pour valider ou invalider le choix fait par le groupe. Son rôle va être de mettre en relation (liaison) le groupe avec les dépositaires du savoir qui peuvent alors conseiller (donner leur avis) le groupe sur la validité de ces solutions. Le facilitateur préserve ainsi la capacité d’initiative du groupe dans la recherche de solution.

Hi Luc, what if the facilitator has the knowledge and there is no one else to link? What do we do? If the community is stimulated and are not linked and this is delayed, the fear is that the community might get frustrated. 

Responses on whatsapp part one

Eric from DRC- A facilitator is basically an educator or even an expert. But he choses to be a facilitator when appropriate to facilitate the community to take ownership for response to challenges. That is my point of view. For instance if the community need to know how to protect from mousquetos and use nets, I educate them with new knoledges.

Kees from Netherlands- that's what I try to do as well,,,,,,,agree.


Whatsapp message Number 2


Kausar from Pakistan- According to Paolo Freire education can domesticated the learner or liberate the learner. A facilitator never domesticates
Rafique, it all depends on your definition of education. Educator as liberators is always on the side of the community. Paulo Freire would not I think agree with this definition  of educator. Educator is a liberators and thus is not the expert on the other side of the table

Rafique, India-  A facilitator is on the same side of the table as the community, on the side of the community, while an educator is mostly across the table. A facilitator takes the community along, working shoulder to shoulder with them at times. A facilitator is thus with the community on their side. An educator need not necessarily be alongside the community. There are times when the educator is across the table instructing the community, and therefore across the table.


Whatsapp message number 3 (French)

Blaise, DRC
Un facilitateur est comparable à une sage femme qui n'accouche pas à la place de la femme enceinte, mais elle l'accompagne plutôt pour qu'elle accouche dans les meilleures conditions. Parcontre, un éducateur enseigne ce qu'il faut faire et ce qu'il ne faut pas faire.



Jean Baby, DRC

Bonsoir Marie,

Ma réaction à ta question:

Un facilitateur, peut-il être aussi un éducateur ?

Dans un premier temps, un facilitateur en sa qualité de catalyseur ou d'influenceur, éduquera certainement, rien que par son comportement, sa posture, etc. Grâce à un leadership différent.

Aussi, un facilitateur doté d'une expérience avérée, adapte son travail au vue de la réalité de temps, de lieu et de circonstance.
Je suis tenté de dire qu'un bon facilitateur est appelé à se faciliter préalablement sa propre facilitation du processus  CCV basée sur le besoin réel de l'heure.

Cependant, le mot ''Expert'' peut aussi être compris de la manière suivante :
 Qui est fort versé en la pratique de quelque art, de quelque connaissance qui s'apprend par l'expérience.

On peut ainsi admettre qu'un facilitateur traînant avec lui une expérience éprouvée, est certes détenteur d'une expertise.

En effet, dans le contexte d'un travail de facilitation du processus CCV effectué dans un milieu fort enclavé, avec une difficulté d'établir un lien entre une communauté demanderesse d'informations ou des connaissances spécifiques avec une structure ou une personne appropriée pour ce faire, si le facilitateur présent détient des capacités nécessaires à  répondre efficacement à la demande, il pourrait alors identifier dans la même communauté ou dans son environnement le plus immédiat, une personne ressource (un leader) à qui transmettre ses compétences/connaissances de sorte à ce qu'elle s'occupe d'en assurer continuellement le partage au profit de tous.

Aussi vrai que SALT/PCCV n'encourage pas dans le chef d'un facilitateur l'attitude interventionniste, paternaliste, moraliste ou sensibilisatrice, etc.

Il faut cependant aussi reconnaître qu'il existe une interdépendance entre une approche communautaire participative (stimulant l'action ou l'auto prise en charge à la base) et une approche d'apport d'informations qui stimule à son tour la prise des connaissances nécessaires à l'action.

Le Facilitateur s'emploiera donc avec tact à établir un lien entre les connaissances nécessaires pouvant alimenter la (les) pratique (s) et soutenir l'action.

En voilà un point de vue.

Jean-Baby Fulama zanzala

(English)

Blaise

A facilitator is comparable to a midwife who does not deliver in the place of the pregnant woman, but rather accompanies her so that she gives birth in the best possible conditions. An educator, on the other hand, teaches what to do and what not to do.

Jean Baby

Can a Facilitator also be an educator?

In his or her capacity as a catalyst or influencer, through his or her behaviour, posture, etc., a facilitator will educate, by example, a different kind of leadership. 

Also, a facilitator with proven experience adapts his or her work to the reality of time, place and circumstance. I am tempted to say that a good facilitator will always be able to facilitate his or her work (facilitation).

Expert, can also be defined as: one who is well versed in the practice of some art, some knowledge that is learned by experience. 

It can thus be implied that an experienced facilitator has expertise. So SALT/CLCP does not encourage an interventionist, paternalistic, sensitizing, moralist attitude on the part of the facilitator. 

However, in a context of a landlocked environment, without the possibility of linking the community to another opportunity to provide information or knowledge. If the facilitator in presence has the necessary capacities to respond to this, he or she could, in my opinion, transmit his or her skills/knowledge to a resource person (a well identified Leader) from the community concerned, so that the latter in turn shares them. 

It is also true that SALT/CLCP does not encourage an interventionist, paternalistic, moralist or sensitizing attitude on the part of a facilitator.

However, it must also be recognised that there is an interdependence between a participatory community approach (stimulating action or self-empowerment at the grassroots level) and an approach of providing information which in turn stimulates the acquisition of the knowledge necessary for action.

The facilitator will therefore work tactfully to establish a link between the necessary knowledge that can feed into the practice(s) and support action.

This is one point of view.

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

 

Whatsapp message 4

Onesmus, Kenya Facilitation depends on its integrity and a belief that communities can respond. And this is depended on its inherent strengths which the facilitator(s) helps to reveal and give back. Facilitation processes help the communities to become more aware of themselves and their situation, they become more confident and competent to deal with their own situation.
I do then see a facilitated community conversation as the medium for knowledge sharing and learning and as such the community members find space to discuss are giving themselves a little education on areas of concern  that are not dominated by privileged external experts (Educators) .

Amanda, United States- My experience as an educator is to inform based on my knowledge. I may ask the community for feedback as to how they perceive  the information I shared would apply to their situation. I told them what I know and maybe suggest how they would use the information to help themselves. It's me to them. While as a faciltator I encourage the community to engage in discussions among themselves, they recognize their own strengths as they speak of their issues then come up with solutions to address those issues. I will share my experience as it applies to their situation. So we are working together sharing. We are together contributing. It is us and not me and them.


Dee Brooks, Australia on Facebook
Hey Rituu, we've been teaching the following, when facilitating and hosting... you can wear all 3 hats within a moment and it's the purpose and intention of each that's most important; what are you trying to achieve? Teaching/Learning? Moving from A to B? Or "holding space"? And, anyone, educator, facilitator, community member, other can also wear all those hats...
No photo description available.

Whatsapp message Number 5

Eric from Burundi

A facilitator helps members of community to identify main challenges that impact more their quality of life. And then stimulates their conscious to find out inner strengths to win on the challenges by implementing actions by their own. While an educator helps the members of a community to gain new knowledge and can adopt approches that involves more people (participation, critic education) in the process to have new knowledge. 

If the community decides to build bridges as a solution to the challenge or if they need new knowledge on how to undertake sustainable agriculture, then the facilitator make links between the community and other providers of those needs.For me even if i have the knowledge, I prefer to link the community to others in order to stay in my role of facilitator.

Jean-Louis Lamboray

What Makes Us Human? Chapter 3

Toussaint, RDCCompetence facilitator, shares: "Before the Constellation, when I was a peer educator, this is what I used to do: on a given day, I went to a community where I am welcomed as an expert. Sitting at the high table, I unpack my things and begin my speech. Bang, bang, bang, bang, that's how you get HIV; bang, bang, bang, that's how you don't get it. Bang, bang, bang, bang, that's what you have to do to avoid it. Then it's time for questions that I answer. Then I pack up my stuff and leave, until the next session. What happens in the meantime? Nothing happens in the meantime. Now it's different: I come as a friend, I settle down and I ask the questions. I talk less, people tell what they've done since the last time and I listen". So what do these communities do? They get informed, they get up en masse to find out their HIV status, they welcome families affected by AIDS... You will find out more in the following chapters. Alain, another facilitator from Kinshasa, sums up: "Before, I was like a radio. Now, I am like a recorder.”

Qu'est-ce qui nous rend humain? Chapitre 3

Toussaint, facilitateur de RDCCompétence, le raconte très bien. « Avant la Constellation, quand j’étais pair éducateur, voici ce que je faisais : au jour dit, je me rends dans une communauté où je suis accueilli comme expert. Installé à la haute table, je déballe mes trucs et je commence mon discours. Pan, pan, pan, voilà comment on attrape le VIH ; pan, pan, pan, voilà comment on ne l’attrape pas. Pan, pan, pan, voilà ce que vous devez faire pour l’éviter. Vient ensuite le temps des questions auxquelles je réponds. Puis j’emballe mes affaires et je m’en vais, jusqu’à la prochaine séance. Qu’est-ce qui se passe entre-temps ? Rien du tout. Maintenant, c’est différent : je viens en ami, je m’installe et c’est moi qui pose les questions. Je parle moins, les gens racontent ce qu’ils ont fait depuis la dernière fois et j’écoute ». Que font donc ces communautés ? Elles s’informent, se lèvent en masse pour connaître leur statut sérologique, accueillent les familles affectées par le sida… Vous en saurez plus au cours des chapitres suivants. Alain, un autre facilitateur de Kinshasa, résume : « Avant, j’étais comme une radio. Maintenant, je suis comme un enregistreur ».

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