All communities hold a variety of public gatherings on a regular basis. These may be
traditional celebrations and events or political or religious gatherings. These gatherings can
offer community development organisations with a useful opportunity to hear the views of the
community and to pass on development messages.
Advantages of Public Gatherings
Can instigate open discussion and immediate responses.
Are usually free and require few resources.
Are usually conducted in the local language.
Can include a large number of people in one go.
Are often a familiar and trusted means of community level communication.
How to use Public Gathering
Development organisations can either
organise their own public gatherings for
specific purposes, or collaborate with other
community leaders who frequently organise
When using public meetings:
Information should be presented in
the appropriate language.
Time and venue should be taken
into consideration so as to involve
the entire target audience. Use
common meeting places.
The community should be informed
Chief’s baraza. Namanga Hills, Kajiado
District, Kenya Women do not attend these
meetings. Practical Action East Africa
in advance about the gathering.
Gender and community customs should also be taken into consideration. Eg. Some
gatherings are traditionally male domains and women are excluded or are not
expected to contribute.
You can reach a particular target group, such as youth or disabled people by working
specifically with these groups.
During the meeting you can increase people’s retention of information and enjoyment
by using various media such as pictures, handouts, song, dance and drama.
Constraints of Public Gathering
Some cultural norms may exclude certain groups from attending public meetings.
If you are using meetings organised by others you will have limited time and control
over the proceedings.
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