My Facilitation pRACTICE

Posted May 18, 2016 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

Topic: Advocate the access to land property for rural women

Date and time: May 11, 2016 from 4 – 5 pm. The time of the session was agreed by every participants due to their schedules

Participants: 10 participants (Women of the NGO, rural women and men working in civil society)

How was it shared?


In order to allow all the participants to take actively part in the debate, we provided access to Internet via two 3G dongles. The session was informal with a facilitator (me) animating and leading the debate. Before the session, all participants were asked to bring their smartphone or computers, except for rural women.

First session: the presentation of the topic and the reason why it is important to boost the development on a grassroots’ level took less than 10 minutes. The aim was to show the subject that will lead the discussion. Using a clear language mixing French and Lingala (the local language), I intended to embed actively the rural women in the session as they are having some difficulties to speak French but not understand. The aim was to break the language barrier and for the participants to feel free to use any language they wanted to.

Second session: the open discussion was led by me and focused on the question: What do you think on what the access to women on land rights can bring to the community. This part was the most interesting as most of them agreed that woman has the right to own the land by inheritance from her father or husband. The other ones, men essentially was a litlle bit skeptic as they pointed out the traditional inheritance from the ancestors. They thaught it was like throwing away the cultural identity. For women, accessing to the land right was not an act of ignoring the cultural identity but it is what should be done in order to ensure the livelihood of all the community due to the women responsibilities imposed by the same cultural identity.

Third session:To close the session, I asked the prticipants to draw a sheet with 2 columns with the advantages and disadvantages for women accessing to the land property. As they did, it seems like customs is the only thing that cannot ensure women access to the land property.

The Strategy that worked :I sued to ask question according to one participant answer and trying to go beyond and presenting a concrete situation, for example,"what they think about a woman that works her husband land but all the product of this land is the man property" and also"What was the risk if the women get access to the land society for other traditional thinking".This kind of questions allowed the participants to share more and to speak safely about what they thinking and so their experience.

Outcomes :After this thinking exercice, participants identified what could be the advantages of getting access to land to women in rural areas and which strategy they could implement to advocate for that.

They realized that they have to get the customary chiefs in their struggle as they already have the law advocating for them. The aim is to show them how this case could be beneficial for all the community.


My first facilitation practice was unique as most of the time I was listening and trying to raise debate and push participants to reflexion and openess for the sake of the community. I think I was the great winner as I never learnt so much in an hour about my own culture! Besides, this session allowed the participants to discover how they have the power to change things and to make this World better by thei small contribution to reach the development


The first challenge was personal, I was afraid not to be able to raise debate or to keep the discussion interesting.

The second challenge was the time as some participants was late but, fortunately, they caught up very fast.

The third challenge was the logistic, as the power was off, we couldn't make a PowePoint projection. We just speak and explain to the participants clearly by giving the most details possible.

What worked well?

- Small jokes in the beginning of the session and during the debate broke the ice and cooled the tension between man and women so all of them could open up.

- Clear explanations were a guide for them to be focused on the subject.

Comments 3

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Olaoluwa Abagun
May 21, 2016
May 21, 2016

Wow! I am so excited for your first facilitation experience, dear AFYMAB!

Access to land property is a crucial dimension to women's economic empowerment today and you totally rocked the topic with your amazing participants! I particularly love the fact that many groups in the community were represented in your session and that you brilliantly mixed French and Lingala to bridge the communication gap.

I am impressed that the session also touched on the cultural perspective of the men; This is usually a hidden conversation! The best part was the solutions oriented outcomes you recorded.

This is super cool. Keep facilitating...Keep sharing :)

Stephanie A
May 23, 2016
May 23, 2016

Afy -

I am so excited to see the results of your rescheduled training, and very impressed with what you were able to accomplish in an hour. You had such an impressive training plan - from discussing a culturally sensitive topic, to using technology and connecting remotely, to bridging the language gap - wow! And it sounds like you were able to have a very meaningful discussion about a sensitive cultural topic, which is not always something that's possible! It's so encouraging to learn that men and women were able to have this discussion about land rights together, and that you were able to challenge them and get them to think critically about the issues. 

It sounds like there is a lot of momentum coming out of your training, and interest in making change. I hope this isn't the last training you lead on this topic - you have already begun to mobilize a movement, starting with these 10 people, and you have the potential to make great change!



May 26, 2016
May 26, 2016

Insightful thanks for sharing!