We, practitioners and trainers of Moderators of participatory multi-stakeholder consultation workshops that apply the Logical Framework Analysis procedures, think that an LFA workshop Moderator is quite unique compared to other facilitators in the sense that they are encouraged to apply the principle of ANONYMITY in their facilitation practices.
While other types of facilitators are supposed to show affinity and empathy to the participants to create an atmosphere of ease and familiarity, an LFA Moderator is particularly encouraged to treat the participants and the issues raised anonymously. Actually this is quite a strong principle of an LFA Workshop and very different from other facilitation approaches.
One of the ways this principle translates in a workshop is that the participants participate without wearing a nametag and without introducing themselves to each other. The idea backing this principle is that whatever someone contributes is judged equally irrespective of the status or position of the person who shared it in the workshop.
An offspring of that same principle is that issues will be written on cards, and when these are collected these will be mixed and will be treated anonymously all the way throughout the process. As a rule, neither the author should claim to be the writer of the card nor the facilitator will ever ask for who wrote the card. When asking for clarity though anyone can respond. As such, the issues are thus disconnected from the person who wrote the card and from his or her position and status and as such those issues can be discussed freely. This notion of anonymity will also trigger participants to write issues which they would not easily have shared otherwise …. bringing issues to the table that really matter and that can make the difference!
An LFA workshop is geared to bring frustrations and painful experiences of the participants and other stakeholders to the ‘table’. In that sense an LFA workshop and moderators who makes that happen are quite unique as it makes participants think about reality and not about creative future illusions. So, no wild and endless brainstorming, but the more difficult ‘brain-tapping’ is required. Therefore the right participants, who do have that information, are key in the workshop to generating that information. The analysis of the problematic situations forms the ‘anchor’ of the project and determines the relevance of the project, being the first quality criteria of proposals!
A last unique quality of an LFA moderator that comes to my mind is the fact that an LFA Workshop can be held in the language of the participants, which may not be even understood by the moderator. For example, I facilitated workshops in Khmer, Azeri, Bahasa Indonesia, Ki-Swahili, Lao and VietNamese by just explaining and demonstrating the subsequent steps with the help of an interpreter after which the participants did the steps of ‘brain-tapping’, the analysis and the clustering on their own. They even prepared their own Logical Framework Matrixes. Participants loved these workshops in their own language and claimed ownership and recognition of their situation. Only after receipt of the translated plan that was agreed in the workshop, the moderator got hold of the content and understood what the workshop was all about. I don’t know whether there are other types of workshops whereby it is that clear that the moderator deals with the process while the participants deal with the content.
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