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close this book Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival
close this folder Part III - Project management systems
close this folder Unit 3 - Supervising community nutrition activities
View the document Session 1: The role of the supervisor
View the document Session 2: Identifying and solving problems
View the document Session 3: Problem-solving/role play
View the document Session 4: Planning and conducting supervision visits

Session 3: Problem-solving/role play


In this session, trainees practice problem solving and communications skills by conducting a simulated meeting. During the meeting, supervisors discuss a problem with the individuals who could be involved in its solution.

Time: 1/2 hour


- One "Supervision Problem" description selected by trainees

- Chalkboard and chalk

Preparation :

- Ask trainees to select one of the supervision problems discussed in the previous session.

- Ask trainees to decide whom they might invite to a meeting to discuss this problem.


1. Introduce the session by explaining the purpose stated above. Review the specific problem to be discussed in the role play meeting and its possible causes.

2. Write the following objectives for the meeting on the chalkboard:

- To give everyone involved a chance to discuss the problem

- To discuss possible ways of solving the problem

- To agree on actions to solve the problem and who will take them

3. Ask two trainees to play the roles of the supervisors who are conducting the meeting. Give them ten minutes to plan how they want to conduct the meeting.

4. Assign the roles of the other individuals invited to the meeting to the rest of the trainees. Give them ten minutes to think about the attitudes and skills of the people they will play in the role play.

5. Conduct the role play. (Allow 15-20 minutes)

6. Conduct a discussion about the process and the results of the role play meeting. You may want to use the discussion questions on the next page:

Ask the two supervisors who conducted the meeting the following questions:

- Which of 'the meeting's objectives were achieved? Which were not achieved and why?

- How do they feel about the results of the meeting?

- How did they feel about the other trainees during the meeting?

- What would they do differently in a future problem-solving meeting?

Ask the trainees who attended the meeting, and those who observed it, to give their comments:

- How do they feel about the results of the meeting?

- How did they feel during the meeting?

- Did they have the chance to say what they wanted to say? If not, why not?

7. Based on their experience in the role play exercise, ask trainees to list the characteristics of an effective problem-solving meeting. These might include:

- The purpose of the meeting is explained and understood by all

- Everyone has an opportunity to express his/her opinion

- Realistic alternatives for solving the problem are discussed

- Participants respect and try to understand each other's opinions

- Specific actions to be taken are defined

- Tasks are assigned

- Follow-up is scheduled

8. Congratulate the participants for their performance in

the role play exercise. Review the steps for effective problem-solving mentioned in Session 1 of this unit.