Module M02 - Attitudes, Behaviours and Ethics

Unit M02U02 - Relationships between Facilitators and Communities


The goal of this Unit is to explore the roles and responsibilities of PGIS practitioners and the ethical issues that may arise during PGIS facilitation. This Unit is designed to help PGIS trainees prepare for challenging circumstances they may experience in the field and provide an opportunity for them to discuss the ethical duties and responsibilities of their position with one another. Fundamental but ambiguous terms in participatory mapping – such as “community” and “participation” – will be discussed in depth. A set of ethical duties for a participatory mapping facilitator will be presented. Trainees will learn about the responsibilities of a participatory mapping team before, during and after the participatory mapping process. The trainees will learn ways to enable greater participation of disadvantaged and marginalized groups and the community as a whole.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • explain the complexities of terms often taken for granted and used in participatory mapping, such as "community", "stakeholders", "participation" and "facilitation";
  • describe and respect the ethical duties and responsibilities of PGIS teams in relation to the communities in which they work.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Terms: Key Concepts when Working with Communities.
  2. Values of participatory processes.
  3. Responsibilities of Participatory Mapping Teams
  4. Enabling Participation.
  5. Giving the Community Ownership of the Process and Outcomes.

Note: Topics 1-5 are covered in PPT No. 1, the Unit Glossary and the Handout for Trainee). The PPT should be followed by a discussion (PPT plus discussion: 60-70 min) and an exercise in which the participants practise introducing themselves to a pretend community (Exercise No. 1: Introducing Yourself to the Community) (45 min)

Components of the Unit


Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format)

  • Article: Rambaldi, G., R. Chambers, M. McCall, and J. Fox. 2006. Practical Ethics for PGIS Practitioners, Facilitators, Technology Intermediaries and Researchers. PLA, Vol. 54. IIED. London, UK
  • List of Additional Resources
  • Unit Glossary
  • Presentations


    2 hours

    Additional trainer resources

    • Botes, L. and D. van Rensburg. 2000. Community participation in development: nine plagues and twelve commandments. Community Development Journal 35(1): 41-58.
    • Edmunds, D. and E. Wollenberg. 2002. Disadvantaged Groups in Multistakeholder Negotiations. CIFOR Programme Report. Centre for International Forestry Research. Bogor, Indonesia.
    • Rocheleau, D. and R. Slocum. 1995. “Participation in context: key questions”. In Power, Process and Participation: Tools for Change. Slocum, R., L. Wichhart, D. Rocheleau, B. Thomas. Intermediate Technology Publications. Warwickshire, United Kingdom. Pg. 17-30.

    Equipment needed

    PC and LCD projector for PowerPoint presentation or overhead projector with transparencies Meta cards, flipchart with markers, paper and pencils/pens for participants

    Additional downloads