1 Faculty member Agri and RD Planning, Economics Research Institute

2 Department of Extension, Tehran Province, MJA


This study aimed to examine key factors affecting rural female facilitators’ role in participatory rural development in Tehran Province. Since the researchers intended to have a better insight into the facilitators’ role and employ inquiry as a learning forum for bringing about changes for all participants, they preferred to use a case study based upon an appreciative inquiry method. The study divided the factors affecting the facilitators’ role into two main categories: driving factors and preventing factors. The former are: two-way communication, election of rural eligible facilitators, participation, sense of responsibility, and the latter are: cultural and tribal fanaticism, lack of permanent female extension workers and frequent management changes. Appreciative inquiry as a positive mode of action research could facilitate the process of education and communication for all stakeholders. We suggested that there should be a shift from the extension as a knowledge transfer to facilitation as people’s own knowledge creation. This study showed that appreciative inquiry could facilitate the process of change and gender-awareness. This research method could also facilitate mutual communication between the rural facilitators and extension workers.