Building agency through facilitated knowledge co-creation

Published: 14 April 2021
Last edited: 14 April 2021

After the baseline assessment the deliberation and co-learning process needs to shift towards a long-term continuous process with recurring meetings. This may include changing roles and encouraging stakeholders to claim ownership and take lead. For this to be a smooth transition it needs to be addressed already when the process starts.


Alliance and partnership development
Co-management building
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • Increasing familiarity with online platforms and tools.
  • Creation and use of boundary objects (mind maps, system diagrams, billboards).
  • Clear protocols for data management and sharing are required, and group dynamics and potential disagreements need to be handled. Hence, it is essential for a successful process that the core team has competence and experience in process design, facilitation and communication, and that these different roles are divided among the core team members.

Lessons learned

  • Especially if you are an ‘external’ actor, finding local collaborators with a shared interest, and who are willing to invest some time, is invaluable.
  • Start with already existing strategies or the actions participants can see themselves engaging in. Starting with something more ’concrete’ will help people to reflect and think beyond their current reality.
  • Designing and planning exercises together with key stakeholders and local partners may help facilitate the process.
  • Actor differences make it difficult (or impossible) to find a format, time, topic and language that suits everyone. A recommendation is to run at least part of the process in parallel focus groups in order to be able to go deeper into certain topics that might not be relevant for the whole group.
  • Small things matter, like sending individual emails to people adapted to them and their work, finding opportunities to meet in person or join external events organized by the participants of your process.

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