No 1071 Posted by fw, June 10, 2014
Following up on yesterday’s post, Will a program designed to get Canadians “talking politics” inspire more active citizenship in Canada? below is a copy of a Facilitation Guide that Samara has designed to help discussion leaders to structure Democracy Talks sessions.
To access this guide, click on the following linked title —
Democracy Talks (DT) is a series of discussions designed to engage citizens in politics. Delivered in partnership with community groups across Canada, DT offers a structured and accessible space in which people can share their ideas and aspirations for the Canadian political system, and the role they’d like to play within it.
WHAT PARTICIPANTS GAIN
This facilitated discussion lasts approximately 1.5 to 2 hours and can include between 8 and 10 participants.
BRIEF OUTLINE TO GUIDE’S SECTIONS
Section 1 – Introduction (15 minutes)
Facilitator introduces him/herself, Samara‟s Democracy Talks program and the community partner involved and explains how the discussion will work. The facilitator should clearly explain that the purpose and expected outcomes of the DT session are to:
The facilitator should also highlight the following points before beginning the discussion:
you’re not comfortable responding; facilitator’s role to ensure everyone can speak, etc.).
Question Facilitator Guide
||Roundtable of introductions and responses|
Section 2 – Issues and Active Citizenship (20 minutes)
This section invites participants to identify an issue of concern in their day-to-day lives and consider how they might address it through a political process. The goal is to help participants draw the connection between the personal and the political, and identify ways they can approach their concern.
Question Facilitator Guide
|Regroup to share responses from each pair.|
||Keep general; see what they say and whether a connection to politics is made. Note concerns on board.|
||Note suggestions on board|
Section 3 – An Ideal Democracy Is… (20 minutes)
This section encourages participants to brainstorm their definition of a healthy political system and to consider their role within that system. Questions explore the general theme: what does an ideal democracy look like to you?
||Take note of ideas|
||Ask participants to put a star, “#1”, or other distinguishing mark next to the single attribute they feel is MOST important.|
||Note barriers that emerge in this discussion|
Section 4 – Option 1: Partner Questions (20 minutes)
For this section, community partners are invited to contribute questions that will help generate context-specific insight around a particular issue, program, policy or election-related goal. These can take the form of open-ended questions, or may follow the guided activity outlined below.
Community partners are asked to make their choice and submit their questions one week in advance of the Democracy Talks session.
Option 2: “Making your Move” (40 minutes)
THE OBJECTIVE This group exercise will help participants think through a problem and strategize in teams on how to effectively approach it. The exercise will consider:
THE ISSUE TOPIC(S) will be determined:
SMALL GROUPS will be formed by the facilitator once a topic or topics have been agreed upon in the larger group, and the facilitator will highlight the three main questions below to guide the breakouts:
Question Facilitator Guide
|10. What is the specific change/outcome you hope to achieve in regards to your concern? (ie. goals) What are the different formal and/or informal political channels available to you for contributing to this outcome? Who (locally, provincially, nationally, etc.) needs to be involved to help you get closer to your goal? (ie. your stakeholders) As an additional discussion/facilitation tool, the facilitator may propose breaking down the groups’ brainstorm into the following “steps”( see “Making your Move” handout):
||These three questions will be made visible on a white board or flipchart to serve as a guide for their brainstorm. Participants are encouraged to use the markers and pads of paper to map out their ideas.|
Section 5 – Debrief and Conclusion (15 minutes)
Reconvened into the larger group, participants will be asked share their action plans and discuss what worked and what didn’t. Then, the facilitator will invite participants to join the Citizens’ Panel and ask them to complete the post-discussion questionnaire or, if they completed the pre-discussion questionnaire in session, notify participants that a follow-up questionnaire will be sent by email.
|Appointed group member to share plan.|
|12. Based on today’s discussion and workshop, in just a few words, what is a change you’d like to see happen in the next five years that would make democracy in Canada stronger?||Write list of answers.|
|13. Samara would like to invite you to join our Citizens‟ Panel, a network of past DT participants who wish to stay involved with the project by engaging in follow-up discussions, sharing feedback on the project’s findings and connecting with other participants across the country. This will not necessarily relate to the community-specific issue addressed in the workshop but the broader goal of increasing engagement.||Direct participants to sign-up sheet on table.|
|14. What did you like best about today’s discussion? What did you learn? Any questions?||Distribute follow-up questionnaires to participants and collect before thanking and saying goodbye to participants.|
DEMOCRACY TALKS: MAKING YOUR MOVE
This section will explore how the political system can be used to address issues of concern to Canadians. How can you be a part of a solution, and who do you need to help you? By making a plan, you and your teammates will be able to identify some of the political and non-political options available.
Democracy Talks location: _______________________ Date: __________________________
Team Members: ______________________________________________________________
1/ IDENTIFY YOUR ISSUE
Identify your issue. What’s the problem you’re concerned about? Try to capture this in a single sentence, keeping in mind a few key questions: What causes the problem? What are its effects on the community? What do people affected by the problem want done?
2/ DEFINE YOUR GOAL
In one sentence, write a specific and achievable goal relating to the issue at hand.
3/ YOUR STAKEHOLDERS
Who needs to be involved in your action and how will you reach them? Eg. School board trustee, MP, business leader, local non-profit organization, neighbours. Write the names or people or organizations in your community that could help you, and ideas for how to contact them.
4/ ACTION STEPS
What are some of the steps you can take towards your goal, and who will execute them? Eg. Jill will organize a petition, Harish will go door-to-door, Jasmine will be the spokesperson. Write down the different steps of your action plan, explaining how it will work. Then, write down who in your group will be responsible for what task.
5/ PROJECT NAME
Invent a name for your project that captures the issue and/or goal you’re working toward.
DEMOCRACY TALKS: REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IS…
DEMOCRACY TALKS: FACILITATORS’ KEY TAKE-AWAYS
This form is to be used as a guide for Democracy Talks facilitators and note-takers to capture key take-aways and lessons from the discussion group. Partners are asked to share these findings with Samara using any combination of typed notes, photos of notes and words written on flipcharts, audio recordings and even video clips. Get creative! Please email these materials to [name provided on original PDF form available at http://www.samaracanada.com/docs/default-document-library/facilitation-guide-handouts_april18.pdf?sfvrsn=2 ]
SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION
SECTION 2 ISSUES AND ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP
SECTION 3 AN IDEAL DEMOCRACY
Please collect participants‟ completed words list handout and send them to Samara.
SECTION 4 PARTNER QUESTION (OPTION 1)
SECTION 4 MAKING YOUR MOVE (OPTION 2)
For this section, please submit the completed “Making your move” handouts or copies of the groups‟ worksheets to Samara.
SECTION 5 DEBRIEF AND CONCLUSION
Please submit the completed post-DT questionnaires to Samara.
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