Designing Facilitated Processes that Work

Catherine Barnes

Do you ever think you need to go beyond basic meeting facilitation to design processes that will help groups to address challenging situations, deal with differences and envision a better future? This class is intended for people with some experience of facilitation who want to take their skills to the next level.


Participants will learn how to use participatory context analysis to inform process design. We will explore ways to engage key stakeholders, define the purpose, frame the focus, create a strong container and select process methods for conflict-sensitive, dialogue-based transformation processes. We will consider the difference between designing both one-off events and complex, multi-stage processes. We will learn about the distinctive requirements for processes that enable dialogue to promote understanding, deliberation to jointly analyze challenges, to generate creative ideas, and to envision innovative solutions and a shared future.


In addition, explore principles for participatory decision making processes, becoming familiar with specific process methods – including those that are “self-facilitating” – to help groups to achieve their purpose. Participants are encouraged to identify a specific situation for which they want to design a process as this will be used as a focus for mini-assignments throughout the week. Participants can also enroll as teams, who will work together to design a real process for their context.

This course is being offered for training and for academic credit. The syllabus details the number of credits hours and associated course requirements.



Zehr Institute Webinars


  • Loading...