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Community Conversations

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Download 'What is a Community Conversation' (PDF)

Download Community Conversation Report 2015 in English (PDF)
Download Community Conversation Report 2014 in Khmer (PDF)
Download Community Conversation Report 2012 in Khmer (PDF)
Download Community Conversation Report 2011 in English (PDF)
Download Community Conversation Report 2010 in Khmer (PDF)
Download Community Conversation Report 2009 in English (PDF)
Download Community Conversation Report 2008 in English (PDF)
Download Community Conversation Report 2008 in Khmer (PDF)
Download Community Conversation Report 2007 in English (PDF)


"I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. Simple, honest, human conversation. Not mediation, negotiation, problem solving, debate, or public meetings. Simple, truthful conversation where we each feel heard, and we each listen well. This is how great changes begin, when people begin talking to each other about their experiences, hopes, and fears. There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about."

Margaret J. Wheatley


Numerous NGOs are seeking to incorporate more facilitative processes into their development practice and are looking for guidance about how to make this happen.

The VBNK Community Conversation is an event where community members come together to unpack their own problems, decide on solutions and chart a course for action. It draws on a participatory approach of co-learning among facilitators and communities, where the facilitator too must critically examine her/his own attitudes and beliefs. This process of discovery and co-learning allows development practitioners and community members to be released from their fears and to work in liberating ways with others.

The power of the approach is that it breaks down hierarchy and promotes equity through participation across gender, age, ethnicity, and class and it provides communities with the space to identify and talk about crucial subjects that may be otherwise silent. Through their participation, communities develop the skills and confidence to overcome hierarchies that have traditionally limited their involvement in democratic processes, and which have dictated who has the right to speak.
At the same time, the NGO sector and Government agencies become more aware of the needs of the communities they serve and more attuned to including communities in decision making processes. In this way community conversations make possible shared ownership of development initiatives by a broader sector of society.
We have found that community conversations can have a very powerful affect on participants, allowing people who have never felt able to communicate before to do so. Through using an interactive, participatory approach to understanding issues and generating new thinking and potential solutions, community conversations encourage confidence in participants’ own knowledge. In this way the community sets its own targets for what is to be achieved, and in so doing provides a more enduring plan for social change. Community conversations are also informing and deepening our understanding of the issues that are of importance to the Cambodian social development sector.

Please contact us if you are intersted in particpating in the next Community Conversation.

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