At 361Degrees we use this technique around issues that are contentious and where community outrage is a real possibility or has already occurred. In this instance you are participating as an interested observer in a conversation facilitated by community members in an environment that they control and are familiar with.
This can been confronting for facilitators who are used to being in control – If you are a facilitator that likes to be in control I do not recommend following this technique. Your time for discussion is set by others and the discussion is moderated by others. In our experience the outcomes are excellent.
If you use this technique please be sure and thank the community convenor for the time they are prepared to give to you (no matter how short it is). Community Facilitated Engagement works because the participants welcome us into their circle.