UNDP document on CC | access
The Manicaland Centre uses Community Conversations (CC) to share research findings with community members and to help them find common ground and solutions to some of the tensions and challenges that may make a particular group of people in their community more vulnerable to HIV and stigma, or may struggle to adhere to AIDS treatment.
Currently, DOMCCP and BRTI, are working with members of local health centre committees to facilitate community conversations in two of the eight sites in our pilot intervention research project to increase use of HIV prevention methods by adolescent girls and young women and their male partners.
What are community conversations?
A community conversation is a meeting facilitated by an experienced practitioner that aims to give people a chance to discuss and debate a local concern in a positive and safe environment. But community conversations are more than just an informal opportunity to get to chat with people from one's community. They aim to get people talking about local issues that matter to them - including the opportunity for different views, unspoken feelings and experiences to be safely shared - but do so in a space that draws out hopes and dreams that people within the community have in common. Their premise is to create a platform where people can discover e.g. unequal power relations and harmful traditional practices within the community as well as assets and capabilities. Community conversations recognise that communities have capacities, knowledge and resources to make a difference and seek to create a space for listening, speaking, inclusion, respect for each other, agreement or disagreement, but more important, provides community members with opportunities to brainstorm ideas for action.
Community conversations can be a one-off meeting or it can be several meetings that help cement longer term relationships which can lead to shared activities for social change.