To facilitate means to make something easier. It is a broad term that includes a variety of skills and functions. Working with a group of people can often be difficult, thus, it is often useful to have a facilitator manage the process of discussion and problem-solving.
In a typical facilitation process, the facilitator is primarily involved in guiding a group through one or more meetings. The organization or group itself is responsible for deciding who to invite and how to follow up the facilitated sessions. In some cases, as in a facilitated Strategic Planning process, this works well.
Highly complex issues (such as environmental clean-up, land use, human rights, minority inclusion or community-engagement processes) that require the long-term involvement of a diverse group of multi-sectoral stakeholders, require a more comprehensive approach. For these situations, Partners created the Consensus Facilitation Model. This is a process led by a highly skilled facilitator who designs, organizes and convenes the stakeholders, focuses them on specific issues leading to agreements and continues to be involved throughout the implementation phase, monitoring compliance and reconvening the stakeholders as needed.
Partners Peru builds consensus around contentious development issues through its multi-stakeholder consensus building services, one of Partners' signature methodologies. Center facilitators, acting as a neutral third party, convene and facilitate multi-stakeholder collaborative processes that move contentious economic and social issues beyond dialogue into long-term sustainable agreements for change. Facilitators train and convene government, civil society, and corporate stakeholders to discuss issues of common concern, achieve consensus, and develop implementation plans. Partners Peru is also creating a Consensus Facilitation Network which will facilitate the building and sharing of consensus facilitation expertise. More...