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What is Narrate?

Since 2000, Narrate has been focused on improving decision-making in complex environments, combining complexity science, narrative approaches and cognitive neuroscience in ways that produce clear organisational benefits like improved sales, better impact measurement and lower cost, more effective interventions.

Narrate is collaborating on introducing new monitoring and evaluation approaches that enable donors, policy-makers and implementers to understand the true impact of interventions, to enable them to design and monitor smaller scale, context-appropriate projects and to allow them to share experience and improve the effectiveness of projects.

Using micronarratives to understand complexity

Narrate specialises in the SenseMaker research method, an approach that involves collecting mass numbers of micro narratives on a common topic of exploration or question.

SenseMaker prioritises the voice of the storyteller, who conducts the primary analysis of his or her own story, and the resulting data is then aggregated to generate easily recognisable patterns, trends and outliers. Collecting micro narratives in this manner treats the storyteller as an expert and relies on local knowledge to produce and interpret data.

SenseMaker recognises that complex systems are unpredictable and that they require agile and insightful ways of generating evidence to inform policy and action. A key element of Narrate’s work is to facilitate clients’ and stakeholders’ participation in engaging with research data to identify actionable insights.

Consulting services

Narrate offers technical leadership for all aspects of narrative-based research, including:

Narrative research:

  • training on understanding and addressing complexity;
  • conceptualisation and design of exploratory and evaluative studies;
  • qualitative and quantitative data analysis;

Project management:

  • implementation and management of research projects;
  • logistics for data collection;
  • oversight of research teams during fieldwork; managing stakeholder relationships;


  • training and mentoring research teams;
  • co-design of research instruments;
  • building capacities for non-traditional analytical tools;
  • conducting collaborative analytical processes to generate insights and practical strategies for action

Experience in the development sector

Narrate has a substantial portfolio of experience in conducting narrative-based research, monitoring and evaluation for development interventions globally.

Projects conducted to date include:

  • Stimulating entrepreneurial attitudes and activity (Colombia)
  • Understanding radicalisation (Pakistan, Libya, UK, Jordan)
  • Peace and reconciliation (Georgia, Columbia)
  • Youth and poverty (Yemen, Kyrgyzstan)
  • Gender attitudes (Ethiopia, Rwanda)
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