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Copyright © People First Impact Method 2014

Participant Handout 8

Facilitator, Reporter and Observer Roles

Understanding Fundamental Human Needs, Communication, Context of Change
and Awareness of Self – enable us to properly engage with communities. The skills
of a good facilitator, reporter and observer enable us to openly engage and
accurately hear and record what community groups say. In order to meet community
groups in inter-agency teams of three – facilitator, reporter and observer, we now
consider what it means to be a good facilitator, reporter and observer.

Our training should give us confidence that we can carry out field work. We can be
courageous and confident that we will give our people a voice – playing their full role
in their own development. Take care that you do not to fall back into the way we
usually do things!

 Remember people’s right to life with dignity.
 Remember that our priority are the factors the community perceive as important
and why.
 We are not looking at things in reference to our agency or project.
 We are hearing communities speak about the important issues in the context of
their lives.
 Remember the importance of body language and of proverbs and symbols.
 Remember we want communities to reach the upper levels of the Communication
 We are not extracting data. It is a conversation by and between the community
 Stick with open (not closed) questions (What, Why, How) that encourage people
to talk, not questions that get a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.

1. Facilitator Role: Introduce the team and ask the group to introduce themselves;
openly explain the purpose of the meeting and why this approach is being used;
allow the group to decide and lead on issues they want to discuss; encourage all
group members to share their views; periodically request the reporter to
summarize issues and statements made and ask the group to confirm their
validity. Focus on facilitating the discussion among the group. Naturally conclude
the discussion and explain how the information gathered will be shared.

2. Reporter Role: Introduces their role and clearly states that the reporter will only
record statements made by the group and that these will be agreed and approved
by the group; fully complements the facilitator by listening intently to the
discussion and accurately recording issues discussed, key phrases and key
statements made. Along with the observer, the reporter may assist the facilitator
e.g. to bring a discussion back on track.

3. Observer Role: The role of the observer is to observe and record the
atmosphere in the group and the points at which the communication level
changed in relation to the communication pyramid. They see things that the
facilitator and reporter may not be aware of. This adds to the objectivity of the