Using Graphic Facilitation to Record Delegates’ Discussion at an Event

Jackie Weir
Local Officer
Graphic facilitation was used to record ideas on how the participation of members of the public and carers in health and social care could be strengthened in Midlothian. The attractive artwork has engaged people in discussions about the topic.
Start Date: February 2014
End Date: June 2014
Local Authority, Primary care, Voluntary sector
Target groups
Aims and objectives
NHS Lothian, Midlothian Council and the Scottish Health Council were planning a stakeholder event to explore how public/carer participation in health and social care could be strengthened across the Midlothian area. They wanted to capture the main discussions from the day in an appealing and engaging format, and invited a graphic facilitator to record the key themes.
What we did
The graphic facilitator attended an initial meeting of the group in February 2014. She captured rough sketches of the main themes, including communication, involving people, mapping communities, organising change and developing solutions. This was used as the main feedback mechanism at the end of the event.

The initial sketches were later worked up into a final version and coloured to create an attractive summary of the day.

The final version of the artwork was shared at the second meeting of the group in June 2014, and attendees were asked for their comments on how well the artwork had captured the points in an engaging and meaningful way.
The finished artwork has been well received by attendees. One person commented: “I think that graphic representation captures the strategy and messages very clearly” while others described it as “eye catching” and that “the graphics draw you in”.

A3-sized copies of the artwork have been framed and are being placed across offices and clinics in Midlothian to generate discussions about the options for public participation in health and care. The artwork piques the interest of people and helps to spark conversations – although it is necessary to explain the concepts behind the pictures since they are presented at a high level.
This was the first time we had used Graphic Facilitation in this way, and we found that it worked well. Having an artist in the room at the event was no more disruptive than someone writing notes on a flipchart, and attendees on the day were very interested in how their comments were translated into pictures and symbols.

For the most part, the attendees found the finished artwork beneficial, with several people commenting that it was “easy to read” – although some said that there was a lot of information to take in and that the lack of context meant it would be harder to understand for people who had not been part of the original discussion.
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