Best Practices in Global Health Missions
Role of The Primary Author/Facilitator
- Will be in agreement with the Health for All Nations statement of faith, and overall vision and mission of the organization.
- Will be passionate, skilled and articulate about the topic in question.
- Must be a team player, willing to share the credit for the final product and be open to other perspectives
- Will produce the overall outline for the consensus paper and be the primary author for its content.
- Will assure that all members are complying with their responsibilities in a pre-determined time frame, serving as facilitator. See role and skills of a facilitator.
- Will understand that at times the consensus papers being written will have to do with controversial topics that do not have definite explanations in the scriptures, and as such, the paper will need to be written so as to express the understanding that portions of the consensus document may have other interpretations.
- Will seek to recruit contributors from multi-cultural backgrounds as well as those from varied Christian heritages. Contributors from varied disciplines of study, will also be recruited when appropriate.
Definitions for the role of Facilitator:
- “An individual who enables groups and organizations to work more effectively; to collaborate and achieve synergy. She or he is a ‘content neutral’ party who by not taking sides or expressing or advocating a point of view during the meeting, can advocate for fair, open, and inclusive procedures to accomplish the group’s work” – Doyle
- “One who contributes structure and process to interactions so groups are able to function effectively and make high-quality decisions. A helper and enabler whose goal is to support others as they achieve exceptional performance” – Bens
- “The facilitator’s job is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice. To do this, the facilitator encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility. By supporting everyone to do their best thinking, a facilitator enables group members to search for inclusive solutions and build sustainable agreements” – Kaner
Skills of the facilitator:
- A facilitator is an individual who’s job is to help to manage a process of information exchange. The facilitator’s role is to help with HOW the discussion/working group work is proceeding.
- The higher-order skills involve monitoring the group and its individuals in light of group dynamics.
- In addition, facilitators also need a variety of listening skills, even though this may only be via electronic (email) means, including ability to paraphrase; stack a conversation; draw people out; balance participation; and make space for more reticent group members.
- It is critical to the facilitator’s role to have the knowledge and skill to be able to intervene in a way that adds to the group’s creativity rather than taking away from it.
- A successful facilitator embodies respect for others and a watchful awareness of the many layers of reality in a human group.
- In the event that a consensus cannot be reached then the facilitator would assist the group in understanding the differences that divide it.
- Michael Doyle, quoted in Kaner (see below), et al., 2007, p. xiii.
- Advanced Facilitation Strategies: Tools and Techniques to Master Difficult Situations, Bens, (2000), p. 5.
- Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (Jossey-Bass Business & Management) Sam Kaner and colleagues (2007) p. 32.