Recruiting participants for community conversations

The discussions that are part of community conversations should include participants who are able to represent the entire community.

Think about a community you have some involvement with. Spend a few moments writing down the sorts of people you could invite who would represent between them the whole community.

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You need to strive for a diversity of opinion, ethnicity, race and gender, and all the other features that reflect the make-up of the community.

Avoid inviting only the obvious people to the community conversation, for example, opinion leaders or health experts. Keep these people involved, but encourage all the participants to reach out and attract a larger, more representative group of the community. Try to involve community members who have more experience in life, because these people will know about the effects of community change and therefore will have a vested interest in the issues affecting the community. In addition, this will bring consistency and continuity to the community conversation meetings.

A healthcare worker talks to some women outside the health facility.

Make personal contact to invite people, and ensure that the whole community realises that their voice is essential. (Photo: UNICEF /Indrias Getchew)

Diversity for the community conversation

Remember that by actively recruiting members who reflect the community's diversity in ethnicity, culture, perspectives, gender and age, you will achieve a richer dialogue from a more representative sample.

Last modified: Saturday, 12 July 2014, 5:15 PM