Topic 2.1 Types of Participatory Techniques

Participatory techniques are made up of different activities such as: group dynamics, sociodramas, adaptation of popular games for training purposes, puppets, videos, drawings, and any other instrument that aims to generate participation, analysis, reflection, and a conscious and lasting change of attitude in the participants, which leads to a planning of actions to solve problems.

In general terms, in almost all the guides and manuals, we find two types of classifications: one that classifies the techniques according to the senses we use to communicate; and another that is more a grouping of techniques depending on the main objective that we seek with them.

ACCORDING TO THE SENSES that we use to communicate
Experiential techniques They are characterized by creating a fictitious situation where people get involved, react, and adopt spontaneous attitudes. These techniques can be for animation or for analysis.
Techniques with Acting They are characterized by corporal expression, through which behavioural situations and ways of thinking are represented.
Hearing and Audiovisual Techniques They are characterized by the use of sound or the use of images. These techniques allow providing elements of additional information and/or enriching the analysis and reflection with some topic.
Visual Techniques They are written techniques (they use writing as the main element, such as the flipchart in the “Brainstorm”) and graphic techniques (all material that is expressed through drawings or symbols, for example “Talking Maps”).
Presentation and
Animation Techniques
They allow the participants to introduce themselves, get to know each other… creating a fraternal, trusting and safe environment… that allows them to participate more actively and promote a horizontal climate. They are characterized by being active, experiential and humour is usually present.
Analysis and Deepening Techniques They seek to deepen the analysis and reflection of the subject matter, help to become aware of its importance, facilitate the expression of opinions, diagnosis, planning… They are usually auditory, visual and action.
Evaluation techniques They allow evaluating some indicators of a developed theme, with the aim of improving in the future. The opinions revolve around the things that they liked or did not like, would improve or maintain…

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Image taken from Geilfus, Frans. 80 tools for participatory development: diagnosis, planning, monitoring, evaluation. San José, C.R.: IICA, 2002.