Closing 2013 and opening up 2014

Yesterday’s workshop in Antrim was excellent – the level of debate around patient narratives was great to be part of. And the focus shifted as the day went on, from the “how to analyse” to the element that I find most challenging (and hence interesting) – “what do we do as a result”.

When you’re presented with lots of excellent examples of people’s experience (the Northern Ireland 10,000 Voices project has already gathered 1100 examples of patients’ experiences), the temptation is still to read them all, and act quickly on the ones that strike you. But the debate reinforced the need to balance that temptation with the SenseMaker® approach – looking at patterns in hundreds/thousands of stories and not being seduced by a few stories that may be unrepresentative.

Antrim was the last trip of 2013, but planning for 2014 is already underway – the first trip of the year looks like being in mid-January to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan with the UNDP. Initial information on the project is up here

"UNICEF and UNDP launched a “Youth as Leaders of the Post-2015 Agenda” project in southern Kyrgyzstan to advocate for the recommendations made following the country’s Post-2015 national consultations.

The goal is to strengthen youth-led and peer-to-peer civic outreach for vulnerable and marginalized communities.

The project will expand opportunities for the civic participation of at-risk and vulnerable youth and will operate out of youth centres previously established with the support of UNICEF.

To gain a better understanding of the issues facing youth in Kyrgyzstan today, we’re introducing micronarratives – young people will collect, tell and interpret their own stories, providing a better understanding of the challenges they face in their everyday lives, and also helping to identify any gaps in the knowledge and skills of young people in order to shape the focus of our outreach activities.

The project will help about 500 marginalized and at-risk youth in the 12-to-18 age group, with a focus on strengthening their logic, thinking and communication skills.

Within the project outreach groups, a series of training activities will also be held. Teaching young people to blog and develop micro-narratives will help strengthen their storytelling skills and their ability to share their ideas and plans for a post-2015 Kyrgyzstan."

Can’t wait!