SALT and Facilitation of Systemic Action Research

Names of the Organization: TIP UP, PGS (Allahabad U.P.) Group members who participated in the discussion- Dr. Sunit, Saurabh, Sushil, Santosh, Subedar, Shashi, Roshanlal, Sanjay, Piyush, Poonam, Anu,  Avantika, Ravindra, Shahjad.

 We are doing a Geneva Global Systemic Participatory Action research project. It is supported by Freedom fund and led by IDS, Sussex. During our recent meeting where PGS and TIP staff discussed what makes a good facilitator. Our team compared how facilitation is different from what we usually do in our work with the communities. We have build on what we learned about facilitation in February meeting at Allahabad.

Our usual way of working in the community

  • Preplanned vision
  • Preplanned questions
  • Preplanned solutions
  • Represent as an expert/trained person.
  • Burden to complete expectations of community which require immediate actions.  
  • Difficulties in coordination between personal and professional relations
  • Lot of uncertain activities comes during the work.
  • Unbalanced schedule between planned activities and documentation.

This is what we learned on use of SALT in facilitation

  • Being non-judgemental
  • Ensures that it is clear that everyone is equal in an action research group
  • Behave like we all are human
  • Does not tell people what to do, but encourages them to take action

S- Stimulate (community to take new actions), share (personal experiences or stories)

A- Appreciate strengths of the community to encourage them to take action

L- Learn from the community and Listen to the community, Link community members and also link them to other stakeholders

T- Transfer, Team

Other Characteristics of a Good Facilitator ( we developed in February)

  1. Has some knowledge of the issue
  2. Maintains eye contact
  3. Patiently listens to everyone
  4. Maintains the focus on the issues
  5. Uses simple language
  6. Manages correct utilisation of time
  7. Inspires to take decision
  8. Motivates others to come up with new ideas
  9. Does not take sides
  10. Has the capacity to evaluate capacity
  11. Displays humility
  12. Is tolerant
  13. Gives each and every member the chance to express their view and to listen to them carefully
  14. Respects each and every members opinion
  15. Has a good (positive) body language
  16. Does not discriminate on the basis of community and caste
  17. Gives due importance to sensitive issues
  18. Ensures that it is clear that everyone is equal in an action research group
  19. Manages conflict, disagreements, and dominant people
  20. Always be fresh mind, don’t be judgemental about any situation.
  21. Ensures that everyone gets to speak
  22. Encourages open conversation (not keeping it too tightly to the topic)
  23. Knows when to bring it back to the topic
  24. Ensures that issues of gender, disability, caste and age are addressed explicitly (issues, what time does the group meet, who are the participants in the group?)
  25. Encourages dialogue between different views (because new ideas often come from this)
  26. Uses the data that they have in the maps and stories
  27. Summarises key themes, agreements and disagreements
  28. Manages sensitive issues appropriately



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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on May 2, 2016 at 8:23pm

Thanks Sushil for posting. I am proud of you and all the team mates who discussed and came out with this. 


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