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Learning and Knowledge Exchange

Meeting Facilitation

The art of running effective in-person knowledge exchange sessions

Facilitation is the art of supporting a group at a workshop or event to effectively solve problems, make decisions, learn together and achieve its objectives. In order to succeed, a facilitator needs to apply a combination of skills, knowledge, structure and process to the interactions of the group.1 The most essential skills and knowledge for facilitators are briefly summarized in this overview. The structure and process come from various tools and methods, such as the tools included in this Toolbox. Every tool in this Toolbox benefits from effective facilitation.

Facilitation is not itself a tool, rather it is the enabler that makes it possible to succeed in using knowledge exchange tools for sharing, discovery and co-creation. It is crucial when large numbers of individuals come together for a short time and expect to work effectively. Good facilitation improves group dynamics, stimulates creativity, empowers collaborative problem-solving, and in general enables groups and individuals to perform at their best. Facilitation skills improve with practice and through learning from other practitioners.

Facilitators are also often involved in advance planning of sessions (refer to Annex 1: Planning a knowledge exchange session), and should be familiar with materials used at sessions (refer to Annex 2: Materials for face-to-face knowledge exchange sessions

Facilitation is a large topic, and only its most essential aspects are summarized here. The list of references is a good starting point for those of you who want to learn more.

The role of a facilitator
Fundamental facilitation skills
Essential knowledge for facilitators
Improving your facilitation skills
Annex 1: Planning a knowledge exchange session
Annex 2: Materials for face-to-face knowledge exchange sessions

Download the full module on Meeting Facilitation (PDF). 



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