Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ryland White


Including community members in decisions that affect their lives is an agreed upon practice in participatory development. When exercised without attention to key details like defining the need for a participatory approach, understanding the history of a given community, and how this all influences training design, it can be used to uphold inequitable development practices. This Training Course-linked Capstone combined participatory development approaches with training theory and design to support my growth as a development professional and facilitator. Through this study, I sought to support the Kent Community Development Collaborative’s efforts to encourage diverse participation of Kent residents on a twelve-member Community Advisory Council. Training pedagogical frameworks and methodologies explored included: Experiential Learning Theory with a focus on co-creating effective learning environments, strategic questioning, change management, and learning evaluation. The specific participatory methodology used was Participatory Learning and Action. Results of this study showed the impact of participatory approaches on training design evidenced through various design components from the needs assessment to the evaluation. Barriers to participation on the Advisory Council were discovered, and strategies for building trust and relationships on short-term development projects were explored. In addition, an increased awareness of the important role and responsibility a facilitator holds in supporting equitable community development was discovered through self-critical reflection.


Development Studies