At Praxis, we have shaped an immersion programme, called Insight, which is envisaged as a spontaneous learning process to facilitate policy makers, implementers and advocates to dialogue with communities to enrich their knowledge and understanding. Unlike an orientation or a study visit, the immersion programme requires participants to be a complete part of the lives of their host families and communities during the period of the stay.


An immersion is a guided, total experience in which a participant spends a number of days fully immersed in the daily realities of poor people from the developing world. 


What is an immersion?

Immersion is a guided experience, in which, the development practitioner and policy makers spends some days with the people of different socio-economic background/ of different communities to get a first hand understanding of their lives.

Thus, immersion provides a unique realisation opportunity to learn about the complexities of people’s realities. Talking with them while living with them, experiencing their reality for ourselves, and thus refreshing our understanding of the dynamics which trap them in poverty.


How is an immersion different from a field visit?


An immersion is a much deeper and more powerful experience than any field visit. It has structured days of stay with the family/community including participating in their daily activities. It is also a powerful way for policy makers and practitioners to understand the realities of poor and excluded people as well as experience the impact of social policies on their lives.


Why Immersion?


Immersions provide an opportunity to development practitioners to keep themselves up to date with real situations of poor people. It offers an added value that other forms of learning do not provide:


  • Reality Check: Provides one the means of checking against complex and diverse realities
  • Informal Judgment: Understand development issues from the people╩╝s perspective
  • Personal Development: Develop a holistic understanding of reality based on first hand experience
  • Highlights the gap: Internalise the disconnect between reality and our understanding of it
  • Re-motivates and re-energises: Rekindles our personal and professional motivation


How does it work


There is no single model or blueprint for immersion. The experience built so far is, in fact, quite diverse depending on the organisation, local context, however, an immersion should be open, voluntary and based on a personal ground. Immersees should be ready to abandon their professional roles and overcome personal bias in order to see things from a different perspective, that of the insiders.


Concretely, participants are expected to take full part in the lives of their hosts, help them in their daily tasks and interact with them and the community so as to understand their living conditions and the dynamics, which affect them.


Do you want to know more?


Write to us here with INSIGHT in the subject line.

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