Facilitating appreciative inquiry in combination with the World Café method in a low socio-economic environment


  • Elmari Botha Verhage North West University, Student PHD Psychology
  • Susanne Jacobs North West University


Appreciative inquiry, low socio-economic environment, positive psychology, World Café method


This article highlights the use of combining appreciative inquiry (AI) and the World Café method (WCM), two popular and widely used approaches, not yet utilized as a methodological combination to facilitate change and gather information within the contextual background of a lower socio economic environment (LSEE) in South Africa, where people are mostly underprivileged. This qualitative study explored and described the experiences of twelve mother participants and their relationships with their children. AI, as a theoretically informed approach to life training practice, in conjunction with WCM facilitated an integrated process of transformative learning, although challenges were experienced. Participants indicated awareness and co-construction of experiences affecting cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social dimensions. Understanding the dynamics of lived experiences through appropriate methods of investigating can assist in designing research ‘for change’ and facilitating effective support methods. Applications yielded recommendations on their use in combination with participants in LSEEs which could be of use to other professionals and organizations working in similar settings.