How organisations can include participants and partners in the design and implementation of their work
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Organizations benefit from involving stakeholders in design. Co-creation, a collaborative approach, ensures inclusivity, ownership, and effective implementation, fostering sustainable outcomes and stakeholder empowerment.
This article was submitted as part of our call for articles on participatory approaches in sport for development. For more information and to find out how to submit, read the call for articles.


In today's rapidly evolving world, organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of including participants and partners in the design and implementation of their work. This collaborative approach not only fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment among stakeholders but also leads to more effective and sustainable outcomes. In this article, we will explore the significance of involving participants and partners in organizational processes and provide an example of an approach that can be adopted to achieve this goal.

The Importance of Inclusion: Including participants and partners in the design and implementation of organizational work brings numerous benefits. Firstly, it ensures that the perspectives and needs of those directly affected by the organization's activities are considered, leading to more relevant and impactful solutions. Secondly, involving participants and partners fosters a sense of ownership and commitment, as they become active contributors rather than passive recipients. This, in turn, enhances the likelihood of successful implementation and long-term sustainability. Lastly, collaboration promotes transparency, trust, and accountability, strengthening relationships between the organization and its stakeholders.

An example approach: Co-creation

One effective approach to including participants and partners in organizational design and implementation is co-creation. Co-creation is a collaborative process that involves stakeholders working together to develop solutions, strategies, and initiatives. It emphasizes shared decision-making, mutual learning, and collective responsibility. Let's delve into the key steps involved in implementing a co-creation approach:

1. Identifying Stakeholders: Begin by identifying the key stakeholders who should be involved in the co-creation process. This may include participants, community members, partner organizations, employees, and other relevant individuals or groups.

2. Establishing a Collaborative Environment: Create a safe and inclusive space where stakeholders can freely express their ideas, concerns, and aspirations. Encourage open dialogue, active listening, and respect for diverse perspectives.

3. Defining Objectives and Scope: Clearly define the objectives, scope, and desired outcomes of the co-creation process. This ensures that all participants have a shared understanding of the purpose and direction of the initiative.

4. Facilitating Collaboration: Employ facilitation techniques to encourage collaboration and equal participation. Facilitators should guide discussions, manage conflicts, and ensure that everyone's voice is heard. Various tools and methods, such as brainstorming sessions, workshops, and focus groups, can be utilized to stimulate creativity and generate ideas.

5. Co-designing Solutions: Engage stakeholders in the design phase, where they actively contribute to developing solutions, strategies, or projects. Encourage experimentation, iteration, and feedback loops to refine and improve ideas.

6. Implementing and Evaluating: Once the solutions are co-designed, work collaboratively to implement them. Regularly evaluate progress, gather feedback, and make necessary adjustments to ensure continuous improvement.

7. Sharing Outcomes and Learnings: Celebrate successes and share outcomes with all stakeholders. This fosters a sense of achievement and reinforces the value of their contributions. Additionally, document and disseminate learnings to inform future initiatives and inspire others.


Involving participants and partners in the design and implementation of organizational work is crucial for achieving meaningful and sustainable outcomes. The co-creation approach exemplifies a collaborative process that empowers stakeholders, promotes inclusivity, and enhances the effectiveness of organizational initiatives. By embracing this approach, organizations can harness the collective wisdom and expertise of their participants and partners, leading to greater impact and success in their work.

About the author

Atuha Nickson is a student of Agribusiness Management and Community Development at Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara, Uganda.




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