Connecting with citizens – the United Nations Development Programme and SenseMaker

Published by Tony Quinlan on

A short blog today – there’s a longer one that’s half-written about how we might build a framework for common central monitoring of multiple local projects, but that needs a little more teasing out and work to make it mroe practical.

So today, the perfect lead-in – another new project starting with the UNDP in Europe and Central Asia.  This one is in Georgia and arises from a trip to Tbilisi with the excellent local team, and a day and a half of meetings with academics, government and local activitists.  Followed by a half day of developing a framework for testing prior to going out into the field.

Topped off by a guided tour of the old town of Tbilisi and a great meal with regular toasts…

Khatuna Sandroshvilli of the UNDP Georgia governance team has written up a blog on the project so far. It’s here. Some important lessons for anyone looking at running a SenseMaker® project:

What we learned so far

  1. We are new both to the concept and the tool but active consultations and brainstorming made it much clearer now how the process works (what happens after the stories are collected, what kind of questions to ask, what are tryads,  what are the parameters to be included). In retrospect, we would have liked more hands on experience with using Sense-Maker as a tool for analysis.

  2. It is important to have preliminary work done well to have all the right people on board – not only decision makers, but those who will actually follow up (which luckily we managed).

  3. It won’t work without keeping the conversation going. It’s important to share what micronarratives are all about – it’s a little complicated but we want to get as many people on board as possible, and see how we can tap into citizen experts!