Through the links on this page we can explore what makes processes tick and how they compare with each other. With such understandings we may be better equipped to use them more successfully and flexibly and to design Multi Approach Programs.
- Exploring some Underlying Dynamics Of Process can help us understand at a deeper level what makes processes do what they do.
- Exploring Process Design Elements to understand the elements that go into processes, such is Who is invited? What is the purpose? What kind of facilitation is used, if any? What exercises are done, or questions asked, to direct the attention or work of the participants? What is the media exposure? Etc.
- Exploring Process Functions And Outcomes to help us clarify what we want processes to do
- Comparing Practices can reveal the strengths, functions, limitations, special uses, cautions, underlying assumptions, etc., about various processes.
As practitioners work toward a useful analysis and rating system for dialogue and deliberation based on the four items mentioned above, the issue of power needs special attention. While we may see ourselves as experts, we are most authentically participants.
In most participatory practices, theorists and practitioners are interested in power shifting, away from experts who "facilitate" groups and do "research on" people, toward a more peer to peer practices. Some believe a more just practice of research and group process facilitation arises out of co facilitation and co research by all members. While this is not possible in all cases, the issue of power does need to be included explicitly.
Three suggestions for ratings to be included in a tool while help rating how power is dealt with in a method:
1. A data collection tool that is broadly used by facilitators and participants.
2. Some accounting/rating for the level of expert facilitation and some kind of justification and rating for that choice.
This also has implications on the value of outcomes.
3. A rating of axiology (function) that expresses the greater purpose of the research (especially as it applies to power dynamics) also needs to be included. Much great learning comes simply from learning how not to do it!