Generation Dialogues about Female Genital Cutting

A set of manuals for organisations, trainers and facilitators - Implementing Generation Dialogues

Laughing Discussion Group

Putting an end to female genital mutilation

Latest figures by UNICEF show that approximately 125 million women and girls in the world are affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). Each year, another 3 million girls are at risk of being subjected to the practice. FGM violates elementary human rights such as the right to health and protection of physical integrity. 

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) promotes an integrated approach that addresses the diverse factors influencing this practice. Education, awareness-raising and dialogue are combined with efforts to enhance the effectiveness of state and private sector organisations on a sustainable basis, as well as with policy-advisory services at national and international level. 

Experience has shown that prohibiting FGM by law, as has been done in various African countries, and informing people about the detrimental effects that FGM has on health is not in itself enough to change behaviour and end this practice. In the past, information and education campaigns have extended people’s knowledge, but - in many cases - have not altered their behaviour. Dialogical approaches like the Generation Dialogue target this gap between knowledge and actual behavioural changes.  

What is the Generation Dialogue about?

Generation Dialogue is an innovative, participatory approach aimed at initiating and accompanying a process of social change at community level, based on exchange and mutual understanding, with respect for local values.

The method is built around a moderated, respect-based dialogue process across sexes and generations. During the process that extends over several months, the participants share and discuss different views and perceptions about gender-linked life concepts and roles, about traditions and social norms, as well as about taboo topics such as sexuality and FGM. Through interactive exercises, the participants comprehend that openness and acceptance of the others’ views are the basis for mutual understanding across ages and sexes. Eventually the participants express publicly, through pledges, their intention to undertake realistic efforts to overcome practices like FGM. The progress is monitored over a period of several months to a year.  

Manual on Generation Dialogue launched at the meeting of the Donors Working Group on FGM/C in Rome, October 2013

At a recent abridged meeting of the Donors Working Group on FGM/C in Rome in October 2013 it was announced by the German delegation that Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has developed a set of manuals on the method of the ’Generation Dialogue’ on behalf of BMZ. The manuals have been designed to meet the needs of our international and local partner organisations interested in implementing Generation Dialogues that address topics like FGM and other harmful practices, HIV/Aids or other questions often considered taboo.

The manual for the practical implementation of the approach consists of five parts that each address different levels and build on one another: 

  • A manual for implementing organizations presents the information required for planning and budgeting a Generation Dialogue project, the profiles and tasks of the different actors that need to come together to make a Generation Dialogue project work as well as information on monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
  • A manual for master trainers contains the consecutive steps of a Generation Dialogue project, the required profile for a Generation Dialogue master trainer, his or her tasks and responsibilities and the description of a five-day introductory training of Generation Dialogue trainer candidates. 
  • A manual for trainers offers among others guidance on the selection of core facilitator teams and on the training and assessment of facilitators. It also gives an overview of the monitoring and reporting that facilitators and the implementing community-based organization need to do as part of every Generation Dialogue project. 
  • Last but not least a manual for facilitators of the respective dialogue sessions with women and men addresses facilitators who want to start a Generation Dialogue project in their communities. They are given step by step guidance on implementing Dialogue sessions, including helpful kick-off exercises that focus on the participants’ listening and dialogue skills.

The manuals are currently available in English. A French version will be finalised by the end of 2013.

The manuals are also available as a printed version. If you are interested in a printed copy or want to give us feedback on the approach, please contact us at

BMZ glossary

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