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Panel Discussion Report 18: Which Civil Society Organization should be encouraged more for the globa

  1. Overview of the point discussion

Our topic was in fact a question, “Which Civil Society Organization should be encouraged more for the global development?” We did not intend to give the answer of this question to the audience but we wanted them to realize themselves. We wanted to expand every sector of CSOs but because of the time constraint, we chose two out of many types of CSOs- Charity Organization and Skill Development Organization. We discussed the importance of CSO in general. We portrayed the needs of CSOs in society. We passed over the general and technical information about the two chosen organizations. We tried to visualize the challenges face by these organizations.

2. The process and the implementation

Once our lecturer has announced to form the group for panel discussion, I was ready with my group member as we determined ourselves to be in a group well before. I was very lucky to have very active fellow for the group. When we gathered to discuss about the subject, we first set up the aim with the question “What do we look forward to give the audience through this discussion?” Our primary aim was to give the audience the impression of the importance of Civil Society Organizations especially in this very time.

With this set objective, our discussion went to decide the context we shall cover. I proposed to discuss four types of civil society organizations- Charity based organization, Skilled based organization, Right based organization and Economic development organization- by considering the fact that we have four panellists. However, I received the feedback that covering four organizations would not be effective because of the time limit. Moreover, their observations found that quite some of the groups were covering up the Right based organizations. Thus, they suggested to choose two organizations and formed a debate-like structure to seek wider audience attentions. Eventually, we decided to two commonly active organizations which are Charity based organization and Skilled based organization.

The next step after choosing the topic was the way we should convey the message. To give the audience the wider perspectives of the organizations, we decided to take roles of a senior officer and a ground level member from each organization. Since I was the only male member of the group, they pointed me to be the moderator of the panel discussion. After their individual research, they came out with their own represented organizations. For the charity based organization, Ngu Wah Aye as an Executive Manager of Americare, a UK based Charity Organization and Wai Wai Ko as a member of Light of Hope, a globally active Charity Organization. And for Skilled organization, May Thandar Maung as a country Project Manager of FSD and Tahira Mohothar as a member of a Sri Lanker based Capacity based organization.

While our planning period, we received a request from Nan Aye Aye Moe who wanted to be a part of our group since she could not have a group because of her medical conditions. But her role to take part in our group became a challenge for all the members because the roles were distributed equally, two member per an organization. So we all had to think a role for her to blend in the flow of our planned flow. After a while of discussion, she was decided to play a role of a person from the society. Her role contributed another perspective of the requirement of civil society organizations in reality.

Time management of our group members initially made me feel anxiety and nervous. Because of the prior commitments of our group members, we could not meet up regularly and frequently as we supposed to. We did not have enough practice. But eventually, that was the fact that made our panel discussion more lively and exciting. The anxiety of every panellist made themselves prepared well so that they could answer and perform well in front of the audience. Although we had certain defined questions, they all agree upon my proposal of counter and spot questions to be asked. Thus my dissatisfaction turned into the satisfied moment after the panel discussion.

3. Learning/Reflection of the Panel Discussion

This panel discussion was my first time performing as a moderator. The role of moderator seems quite easy but the responsibility upon him is even heavier. He needs to have information about the topic being discussed. He also needs to have the ability to act as a conjuncture that connects each panellist to another. I therefore needed to find the information about the topic and the way to be a moderator. I watched several professional panel discussions before our panel discussion as my preparation. I observed the way moderators conduct or moderate during throughout the panel discussion.

At the same time, I have got to know about the importance of civil society organizations. To convince others, it is important for to be clearly convinced by the topic. I have a clear figure of what civil society organizations are. Therefore, I am double benefited.

4. Conclusion

I gained a lot from this panel discussion. The kind of skills I received from this panel discussion is something I can apply in my life in various occasions, the searching skill, managing skill, compromising skill and some others. Thus, according to my view, I am the one who benefited most from this panel discussion.

5. References

a)      Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Megan A. Haddock, and Helen S. Tice, The State of Global Civil Society and Volunteering: Latest findings from the implementation of the UN Nonprofit Handbook. Working Paper No. 49. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 2012).

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