Popular education tools: Fieldwork

Gathering input: interviews and fieldwork

Overview: This is a great exercise to use when people are stuck in their own internal process or the group is disconnected from the broader community. If the main challenge is how to get more people involved this exercise can be really helpful by reaching outside of the room. This is especially useful if the group is stuck and very internally focused, and if the workshop location is close enough to a public place where there are people to survey or interview. 

Time: 35- 50 minutes

Goal: To get out and talk to the people, to get over fears or obstacles of organizing and outreach.

Materials: Big paper and markers for facilitator, dot stickers to use in voting, clipboards and paper.

Facilitator instructions:

The transition into this exercise will really depend on where the group is at, but if the group is stuck and saying things like, “no one cares about this” or “who knows what other people want to hear” or

Put up some big paper and begin a brainstorm: “If you were doing a survey in the community that could help you better understand people's perspectives on things relating to their involvement or lack of involvement in the radio station, what questions would you ask?

Gather responses on big piece of paper.

After brainstorming a series of questions, take a moment to reflect and ask for each participant to choose the 3 questions that they think are the most important, to bringing in information that could help the group move forward. Instruct people to vote by placing a dot next to the question that they think is most relevant.

When the top three questions have been decided, give the following instructions:
"We are going to take the next 20 minutes of the workshop to go outside, and talk to people on the streets.  We want you to go outside and talk to people, and see if you can get some answers to the 3 most important questions that we have asked above. In 20 minutes, we will meet back here and report back some of the responses that we get. Any questions?" Take questions and make sure that the task is clear.  

In 20 minutes, re-group and with the same paper with the 3 questions, tape another piece of paper and write some notes about the responses. Ask the group to reflect.


Close by asking what they found valuable about the exercise.

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