Hunter-gathering

Hunter-gathering is a participatory process used in workshops to rapidly collect and collate information, experiences and contributions. It is highly recommended as a way to facilitate horizontal learning between individuals and groups.

Groups are established based either on countries, local government areas or topics and space is then given in workshops for hunters to gather information from others with experience and contributions.

Dedicated time is given to this but participants are also encouraged to utilise coffee breaks and meal times to hold further discussions. On the final day of a workshop H&G consolidate their findings and present in plenary their reports or action plans.

The hunter-gatherer process enables peer-to-peer horizontal learning to take place, is highly engaging and puts the impetuous on the participant. It has often been found to be the most engaging method used in workshops with participants wanting to revisit this format during subsequent sessions.

It recognises that those with the most knowledge are the workshop participants rather than those leading or facilitating workshops. It can also help generate cutting-edge documents based on the experiences and realities of those actually implementing programmes. Furthermore, it aids the production of rapid reports and actionable feedback.

The hunter-gatherer approach has been used to share experiences and ideas between local governments in India, between S&H development partners to develop reports and publications on specific issues and develop a series of notes on particular topics.

A review of the SLH’s work highlighted the H&G approach as highly successful in engaging state government officials and community leaders in information sharing and the development of achievable action plans.

An introduction to hunter-gathering

Robert Chambers briefly explains the Rapid Action Learning approach

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