Participatory Methods in Humanitarian Action - Navigating Ownership, Opportunities and Dilemmas

Fully booked

The Grand Bargain has boldly called for a “participation revolution” in humanitarian action. However, truly designing projects from the bottom up, with and for people who are directly affected by crises, often proves difficult in practice. Not every method fits everywhere and with each community. Time pressure and moral dilemmas make it even harder.

In this experiential training we will explore in detail what methods are available and which to select at what time. This requires a good look at the context, our own roles and responsibilities, and limitations of methods and mandates. The training itself is designed in a highly engaging way getting you to use the methods from the outset.

The in-person training will take place in Bochum in autumn 2022 and includes group-learning activities. The course is eligible for the Certificate of Advanced Studies at the academy for humanitarian action in the areas of "Foundations of Humanitarian Actions " as well as "Locally-Led Humanitarian Action".

© Anisa Goshi

You will learn

What participation means and why it isn’t always easy to do it right

What methods are out there and how to choose the right one for your project work

How to implement meaningful participatory approaches

How to be context sensitive and avoid doing harm

How to build trust and trusting relationships

Where the limits of participatory action lie and how to deal with dilemmas

Target group

Professional humanitarians with minimum of 2+ years working experience, e.g. project officers, programe managers, sector experts.


10:00 - 17:00

Day 1 - Ownership

-          What is participation

-          Tools and forms of participation

-          Context sensitivity, context analysis tools and Do No Harm

-          Mandate and understanding own role

Thomas Lahnthaler


Photo of trainer Thomas Lahnthaler

Thomas Lahnthaler is an experienced international facilitator, certified conflict mediator, crisis manager as well as an expert and trainer in Do no harm safeguarding and mental health in emergencies. Over the last 15 years he led crisis teams in volatile environments responding to some of the most complex humanitarian emergencies of our times in conflict, post-conflict, and disaster contexts in over 20 countries working in South Asia, the Middle East, as well as Central, South and East Africa. In designing conflict transformation projects, he has worked extensively with context and conflict analysis, do no harm and conflict as well as holding expertise in the Reflecting on Peace Practice methods. He is the author of the soon to launch book ‘Navigating Beyond Crisis’.

Thomas is the founder and CEO of The Crisis Compass.

Anisa Goshi


Photo of trainer Anisa Goshi

Anisa Goshi has 12 years of cross-industry international experience in the humanitarian, legal, health, and management consulting sectors, working for a variety of organisations. Her expertise includes communications, external relations, as well as project and strategic relationship management for UN agencies, civil society organisations, and corporate businesses.

She has worked with different refugee and displaced communities, especially in unregistered settings, in various countries, on projects aimed at building dialogue and fostering reconciliation, capacity-building trainings, as well as on research evaluation with recommendations feeding into government strategy with a specific focus on youth and gender.

Anisa is the co- founder of The Crisis Compass.

07.11.2022 - 09.11.2022

21 hours of training

Catering included



This training is supported by funding from the German Federal Foreign Office.

This training is organized by the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict.