This is an intense method which involves in-person meetings with patient/public/community partners, in order to develop ideas and come to consensus regarding research decisions such as co-designing the research project. The process splits the topic into 'parts' which are given as 'assignments' to the subgroups. For example — "What outcomes should the research project look at?"  "What is the best way to collect the data?", "Who should be the one to collect the data?" . Subgroups discuss their 'assignment' and then share with the bigger group. The next round of subgroup discussions then addresses the feedback that came out of sharing with the bigger group. This process is repeated until consensus can be reached around the appropriate research design.


Charettes can be useful for:

  • Co-developing the research design with patient/public/community partners so that methods are sensitive and appropriate to the needs of people with lived experience of a health issue(s).
  • Helping to amalgamate diverse perspectives and elements into the design of a research project.



Note: Preparation for Charrettes is very important and can take many weeks to organize. Charrettes can run from three days to two weeks. The number of participants can range from 50 to over 1,000. When running a Charrette, it would be beneficial to use other participatory methods (i.e. World Cafes, participatory decision-making, etc.) to support the discussion and involvement of patient/public/community partners. It is also a good idea to use professionally trained facilitators.


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