A ‘Guidelines for Holding Effective Meetings‘ is a publication of the Western Regional Health Directorate, Pokhara and the Nepal Health Sector Support Programme, which was prepared by Dr Giridhari Sharma Paudel in January 2013. This document presents a series of good practices and guidelines for conducting meetings in Nepal’s public health sector. This guidelines identify the eight types of meetings that commonly take place in Nepal’s public health system; but recommend that meetings are only called where a meeting is the most effective way of disseminating or gathering information or arriving at a decision. This guidelines show regional, district, sub-district and community health leaders how to prepare for, hold and follow-up on meetings.

Objectives and rationale

The objectives of these guidelines are:

  • to guide regional, district, and sub-district (ilaka) health personnel and community health leaders to plan and organize meetings and other meeting-like events;
  • to encourage the timely and effective follow-up on decisions taken at meetings.

Types of meetings

  1. Information sharing meetings
  2. Information collection meetings
  3. Instructional or training meetings
  4. Attitude creating meetings
  5. Planning meetings
  6. Coordination meetings
  7. Decision-making meetings
  8. Problem solving meetings
Types of decision making styles
  • Consensus
  • Consultation
  • Convenience
  • Command
Conducting Effective Meetings
  • Assign responsibilities
  • Develop the objectives and agenda
  • Check the minutes of previous meeting
  • Distribute the agenda
  • Appropriate place, time and length
  • Logistical support
  • Prepared participants
  • Meeting setup

The six type of setups for meetings

  1. Auditorium (This setup is usually used for presentations where two-way discussions are minimal and questions are accommodated via an audience microphone.)
  2. Boardroom (This setup is suitable for senior level director or focus group meetings. It facilitates high levels of interaction and good face-to-face contact. Participants communicate directly without needing a microphone.)
  3. Classroom (This setup is suitable for instructional or information sharing meetings where intensive interactions are not needed. It is appropriate for relatively large groups.)
  4. U shaped (This setup is suitable for medium-sized groups (20-30 participants) and enables interaction between participants.)
  5. Cluster (This type of setup is used to run group sessions.)
  6. Open theatre in the round (In rural areas where rooms may not be available, meetings can he held in the open with participants sitting in a circle.)

Meeting norms (Key norms for public health meetings):

  • Timely attendance
  • Mobile switch off
  • Equal participation
  • Stick to the agenda
  • Respectful communication
  • Careful listening and no side talk
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leaving the room (Participants should only leave for an urgent reason such as going to the toilet or making an urgent phone call after taking permission from the chairperson.)
  • End on time ( Chairpersons should strive to address all important issues within the agreed time and finish the meeting on time.)

The nine types of supportive meeting participants

  • The tension reliever
  • The compromiser
  • The clarifier
  • The tester
  • The summarizer
  • The harmonizer
  • The encourager
  • The gate keeper
  • The rationalist

The 11 types of disruptive meeting participants

  • The aggressor
  • The blocker
  • The withdrawer
  • The recognition seeker
  • The topic jumper
  • The dominator
  • The special pleader
  • The playboy/girl
  • The chatterer
  • The sleeper
  • The trapper


  • Writing minutes
  • Post-meeting follow up

Meeting action points should be followed up in the following ways:

  • Remove confusion on decisions
  • Make an implementation plan
  • Arrange resources
  • Appoint focal persons
  • Delegate authority and set deadlines
  • Monitor action points
  • Set review dates

Download PDF File

You may also like

Public Health Update (Sagun’s Blog) is a popular public health portal in Nepal. Thousands of health professionals are connected with Public Health Update to get up-to-date public health updates, search for jobs, and explore opportunities.
#1 Public Health Blog for sharing Job opportunities and updates in Nepal

”Public Health Information For All”
– Sagun Paudel, Founder

Public Health Initiative, A Registered Non-profit organization – All Right Reserved. 2011-2023. Contact us.