I can sense your unease here Pete. Being an increasingly important part of the system which currently perpetuates this issue, bravo for facing it head on. I recognise that in attending these meetings you are able to bring visibility to this point, but similarly I’m sure you have also excused yourself beforehand from countless such meetings over the years when it becomes obvious that your own personal role is of secondary importance. Personal responsibility is a great place to start for everyone, as your final para alludes to. It should be easier to stop having participation circuses in the manner that you describe if that were acknowledged more widely (OK, OK, easier said than done). What are we trying to achieve in these meetings? Better exposure for agency/donor staff, or genuine consultation with communities? Choose one or the other, and let the set up flow from that. Choose both, and we’re both ringmaster and audience in the circus, and that’s never worked.