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Participatory Methodology

Participatory methodology advocates the involvement of the local population and all those with a vested interest in a particular project or activity in their community. The approach is founded on the belief that a population has the capacity to assess their situation and the ability to make decisions that ultimately affects their lives. It is a methodology that fosters dialogue, respect, equality, and an appreciative awareness of individual capacities and local resources. Although time consuming, it has long been viewed as a more cost-effective approach toward achieving long term sustainability.


Participatory methodology can best be described as an approach that actively engages all those who are, or may be, affected by a project, program, or policy. While we apply this at all levels of our engagement, it is most fully played out when we undertake a community assessment following an invitation by leaders of the community to help them “no longer be poor”.


In most cases, participatory planning addresses a socio-economic problem identified by those that are affected, the “what and why” and then, through dialogue, proposes a solution: what is needed, who is going to do it and when. In case it is not obvious at this point, community motivation and participation are essential!


“Open Space” is a tool of participatory methodology. Open Space forums serve as an incubator of transformation. Community meetings and literacy training are essential means toward enabling women and men to share, to foster confidence in their selves and trust among each other. These meetings provide the necessary forum to practice newfound and newly developed skills in communication and self-expression. Participatory community discussion sessions are held monthly in each cooperative. Addressing themes such fear, mistrust, cooperation, gender roles and the environment, these co-investigation sessions build trust and communication among the women and men of the cooperatives.

FIDA Canada is a fully registered charitable organization: BN 13365 2768 RR0001

FIDA USA is a fully registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization: US EIN # 47-2300976

productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH) is a fully registered Haitian non-profit organization: #B0307

© 2024 FIDA/pcH

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