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Tips for Trainers: Democracy Walls (PLA 58)

Giacomo Rambaldi

Journal article

Facilitators like monitoring the pulse of the events they have been organising and at the same time offering participants a medium where they can share their thoughts, creating opportunities for participatory reflections. This adjusts the flow of action and provides a space to take stock of lessons learnt. In addition, sound practice calls for equal opportunities for all participants to express themselves. A democracy wall is a structured open space where people can post their ideas and opinions. Democracy walls provide a medium for individual participants to express themselves in a free, focused and concise manner. They generate a written, shared pool of reflections which can be used for further participatory analysis; and help obtain on-the-spot feedback during an event and be in the position to rapidly adjust facilitation to emerging realities and changing circumstances. Typically a democracy wall consists of five large sheets of craft paper each one featuring one of the following introductions to open-ended statements: I discovered that... ; I noticed that... ; I felt that... ; I learnt that... ; I would like to suggest...

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board.

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