Select the group
Generally, participatory methods are used with small groups (15-40 people) who want to improve their community in some way. In selecting a group you will have to use your own judgement. But here are some examples of typical groups to give you an idea of the sort of group you might choose and for what purpose.
- A community wishes to improve the water and sanitation facilities at a school. The parent-teacher association would be an obvious group to work with. Some students could also be included to make the group even more representative.
- A community worker is asked to help a community carry out diarrhoeal disease prevention. After discussions with the health clinic staff and village leaders, a group of about 30 people, who represent different village interests, could be formed.
- The community already has a water committee of 15 persons. Community leaders decide that this group should represent the community.
- An urban community of squatters, living in extremely bad conditions without formal recognition by local government, is given an opportunity to improve its environmental conditions. Normally such a community has informal leaders. Discussions with these individuals lead to creation of a working group that is representative of that community.