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Building a Collaborative Aid System with SenseMaker®

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How SenseMaker® can accelerate beneficial communications and listening projects in the global development sector

How SenseMaker® can accelerate beneficial communications and listening projects in the global development sector

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  • 1. Building a ! Collaborative Aid System
  • 2. Although “people want not to need international assistance … the current approach does not accomplish this”1 ! Traditional participatory research limitations:! Reliability: Insights require validation Speed: Slow feedback inhibits action Cost: Labour intensity hinders scaling 20 listening projects (5 years)! 400 team members! 6,000 community voices heard !2 “Contextually appropriate strategies for pursuing positive change” require integrating “resources and experiences of outsiders with the assets and capacities of insiders” 2 1. Time to Listen, Anderson et al . (2012) CDA Collaborative Learning Projects. (p.135) 2. Time to Listen. (p.137)
  • 3. Technology can enable communities and decision-makers to collaborate in three critical areas !3 DECISION-MAKING! ! Combining objective data with persuasive stories to trigger insights into ‘how’ to respond Speed of Action MONITORING! ! Continuous capture to track success in getting ‘more stories like these and fewer like those’ ! Ongoing Evaluation RESEARCH! ! Mass collection of authentic micro-stories to reveal the ‘why’ behind local realities ! Reliable Insights Story gathering with quantitative analysis software
  • 4. RESEARCH SenseMaker® enables rapid collection of mass data! without significant investment Development agencies’ perspective:! ✦ Beneficiaries have unrealistic expectations Beneficiaries’ perspective:! ✦ No two-way communication with agencies Shared perspective: ! ✦ Aid processes are ineffective and foster reciprocated dependence !4 Primary aims:! ✓ Engage communities in needs assessment, while containing expectations! ✓ Seek clear evidence and authentic voices for funding proposals! Secondary aims:! ✓ Multi-agency ‘needs assessment’ tool - minimising repetition and cost! ✓ Develop context-relevant staff orientation programs to improve awareness
  • 5. !5 People are engaged by sharing the stories they consider important Indirect questions place people in a context they understand Expectations contained by not asking for direct opinions Narratives (micro-stories) are humans’ universal knowledge-sharing mechanism Stories can be self-collected - increasing access to remote areas Collecting mass narratives maps authentic reality, ! without raising expectations Stories reveal shifting attitudes and behavioural changes
  • 6. Sharing stories in SenseMaker® is quick and easy - ! rapidly expanding presence at minimal incremental cost !6 Unedited stories collected (written, audio or visual forms) Recently trained researcher (iPad on lap) with participant in Rwanda Guidelines for tapping into 'wisdom of crowds':! 1. Choose right crowds! ✦ Potential beneficiaries ! ✦ Wider community (witnesses)! ✦ Local and international experts! 2. Minimise outside influences! ✦ Private anonymous collection ! ✦ Researcher scribes (not facilitators)! 3. Trigger interest! ✦ Clarity on how feedback will be used Direct (or assisted) capture on Pads/iPhones, website, or paper (transcribed later)
  • 7. SenseMaker® instantly provides information! decision-makers can see and understand, unmediated Beneficiaries:! ✦ Don’t understand how programs are chosen ✦ Perceive aid as meeting more the needs of aid agencies and donors ✦ Suggest programs perceived locally as unfair exacerbate community fault lines !7 Aims:! ✓ Discover ‘pull-through’ policies that harness and enhance local capacities! ✓ Trigger abductive reasoning to discover ‘how’ to respond more innovatively ! ✓ Help create context-rich communication strategies that enhance ‘felt fairness’ DECISION- M AKING
  • 8. ✦ When did your story take place?! ✦ Whose needs were being met?! ✦ What did the activity achieve/fail in?! ✦ Who benefited most?! ✦ Who most influenced outcomes?! ✦ What role did you play?! ✦ How does the community feel?! ✦ How did it make you feel? Letting those who understand the context tell you what their stories mean reduces interpretation bias Customised (multiple language) questions capture additional layers of meaning !8 Exam ple Triad Exam ple Questions Participants answer by positioning a bubble ! in area of triad most appropriate to their story
  • 9. Mass stories are visually presented for direct exploration of meaningful patterns and discovery of key signals !9 Original story helps explain ‘why’ and trigger insights into ‘how’ to respond Example Question: ! Who have results most been influenced by? Nearly 50% of stories (595 of 1255) suggest ‘the community itself’
  • 10. Continuous story capture supports real-time monitoring ! and builds powerful advocacy for change ✦ M&E is increasingly ‘over-proceduralised’ ✦ Cost of reporting has overtaken its value ✦ Focus is on what was proposed, not what actually happened !10 Primary aims:! ✓ Monitor changes in attitudes and behaviours during on-going programs! ✓ Programs adjusted from feedback makes community ‘subjects not objects of assistance’! ✓ Allow field workers time for reflection - focus on information push rather than pull! Secondary aims:! ✓ Reduce field-reporting burden M ONITORING
  • 11. Differences in perspective highlight areas with ! greatest utility for collaboration Community feedback on development issues most important to them Expert predictions of most important issues to local communities Global Giving SenseMaker® project “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble - it’s what you think you know for sure that just ain’t so.” ! Mark Twain !11
  • 12. Real-time community feedback can improve project design to minimise missed opportunities MONITOR! Real-time feedback DESIGN! Improvements ROLL-OUT! Increasing scale Monitoring pilot project feedback from community test groups creates more robust program designs Iterative Design Cycle
  • 13. ! Nike Foundation ! GirlHub (Rwanda, Ethiopia) Unearthing the Wisdom of Girls !Global Giving!Project Impacts (Kenya) Amplifying Local Voices!Storytelling tools! SenseMaker® has been globally deployed over 200 times, increasingly in the development sector ! UNDP! Multiple Projects (Various Locations)! Narrative in the Development Sector! Collecting Stories at UNDP! Storytelling versus Traditional Approaches ! Nike Foundation ! GirlHub (Rwanda, Ethiopia) Unearthing the Wisdom of Girls ! Nike Foundation ! GirlHub (Rwanda, Ethiopia) Unearthing the Wisdom of Girls ! Nike Foundation ! GirlHub (Rwanda, Ethiopia) Unearthing the Wisdom of Girls ! IFC - World Bank ! Water Health Education (Ghana) Comparative analysis across 2 communities to study the impact of water health education, provision of clean water supply services, and understand how to better improve their outreach and sales
  • 14. Amplifying beneficiary voices to empower their advocates ! in the post-2015 global consultations Traditional survey approaches SenseMaker® approach Research Seeks opinions; raises expectations of response Captures stories about actual experiences; increasing engagement and dignity Direct questions usually expected; easily gamed Respondents decide what’s important to share; eliciting more revealing answers Decision- Making Data comes with little or no context All data are linked to original stories; providing clear context during analysis Require expert interpretation Visualisation software presents data as patterns, which decision-makers can directly engage with Can be dominated by powerful individuals or agendas Amplifies weaker voices, which often serve as early warning signals of emerging opportunities and threats Monitoring Assessments come too late to influence action Respondents become real-time sensors of what’s working; creating collaborative cross-border teams Snapshots in time not easily comparable Trends in attitudes and behaviours tracked; increasing sensitivity to evolving situations Cost No cost advantage in scaling Efficient technology for data collection, storage and engagement has potential to scale across multiple locations !14
  • 15. www.narrativeinsights.com! ! marcus@narrativeinsights.com