Factors Affecting Rural Facilitatorsâ€™ Role: Iran
Kamali, Mohammad Bagher
Rural female facilitators, Facilitation, Rural development, Appreciative inquiry, Iran, Farm Management,
This study aimed to examine key factors affecting rural female facilitatorsâ€™ role in participatory rural development in Tehran Province. Since the researchers intended to have a better insight into the facilitatorsâ€™ role and employ inquiry as a learning forum for bringing about changes for all participants, they preferred to use a case study based upon an appreciative inquiry method. The study divided the factors affecting the facilitatorsâ€™ role into two main categories: driving factors and preventing factors. The former are: two-way communication, election of rural eligible facilitators, participation, sense of responsibility, and the latter are: cultural and tribal fanaticism, lack of permanent female extension workers and frequent management changes. Appreciative inquiry as a positive mode of action research could facilitate the process of education and communication for all stakeholders. We suggested that there should be a shift from the extension as a knowledge transfer to facilitation as peopleâ€™s own knowledge creation. This study showed that appreciative inquiry could facilitate the process of change and gender-awareness. This research method could also facilitate mutual communication between the rural facilitators and extension workers.