Who is Involved?
A mix of representatives will help create a good Knowhow session. Include professionals, researchers, advocates and most importantly, people impacted by the issues discussed (such as clients or the general public).
In general Knowhow sessions are aimed at a medium group size of 15 to 60 participants. A group too small may represent a skewed view and a group too large can be unworkable.
Client feedback / public perception
Knowledge obtained from Knowhow sessions is more balanced when those impacted are represented in the room. Ideally, a majority of the participants should be those impacted so that real, accurate experiences can be understood. This supports a person-centred approach to understanding, rather than a clinical or academic view.
It may not be easy to find people impacted to speak out in public, but there are ways to capture and present their views.
Client feedback/public perception can be demonstrated through…
- One or two representatives of those impacted to guide discussions. Often just having these representatives in the room can encourage all participants to be conscious and person-centred in their views. It is critical to support these representatives to feel empowered and able to speak up, being mindful that their views represent their own experiences and not necessarily all who are impacted
- Video footage of interviews
- Presenting a testimonial using the person’s own words
- Presenting client data, including details of how the data was obtained so that its context is clear
- Use advocates – although the information can be ‘second hand’, advocates are skilled at presenting the needs and aspirations of the people they represent
- Ask someone to wear a different hat, for example in a recent session on Fatherhood professionals were asked to attend as a father or family member. This may not capture the direct views of the people who are impacted, however it will help to keep discussions balanced
- Ensure your facilitator guides discussions around the people who are impacted
TIP Try YouTube and Vimeo for a free way to do this but remember to obtain signed consent from the person that should include specifics on how the footage will be used.
TIP It helps to have a facilitator who is knowledgeable on the topic and can draw on their own experience without tainting the discussions.