Community Reporting is a mixed methodology developed by People’s Voice Media to support people’s participation in research, policy-making, service development, and decision-making processes.
At the Helsinki meeting, we delivered a training session on Community Reporting for partners. Here’s a little low-down on what Community Reporting is and how it will be used in the project.
So, what is it all about?
Since 2007, the team at People’s Voice Media and their partners across Europe, have been developing Community Reporting as a methodology. It’s essentially an approach to (digital) storytelling that supports people and organisations to work with experiential knowledge as a form of data in its own right.
Experiential knowledge - or lived experience - focuses on what people can learn from their own and other people’s experiences of situations. It can be useful for understanding how people feel about things, how people handle, interpret and respond to specific situations and identifying what is important to people in their lives.
The partners were shown an example of a dialogue interview, produced by the EuroCohort project
Here’s an example story from a previous project, to give you a flavour of what Community Reporting is: https://communityreporter.net/story/wellbeing-and-me-feature-story-uk
In the training session, partners got to grips with storytelling techniques such as dialogue interviewing and curation processes that support people to understand the insights that can be found in people’s stories. We also explored ‘responsible storytelling’ and how this helps us to set the ethical and practical parameters for this type of work.
Community reporting in practice
Community Reporting as a citizen science tool
In EUARENAS we will be working with this methodology in two key ways. Firstly, in the Case Studies work package, we will be running ‘citizen experience’ storytelling and sense-making workshops to help bring citizen perspectives into the research. These workshops will provide a space for citizens to talk about how they have been involved (or not) with the examples of participatory and deliberative democracies we are studying and help to set the agenda of the research findings.
Secondly, in the work on Foresight, we will be gathering people’s lived experience of democracy from the pilot cities and in the UK, and using this as stimuli to think about what our democracies might look like in the future. We will be using the ‘three horizons’ framework to structure this conversation and work with citizens in 5 different locations create ‘visions’ for the future. The guidelines for this work will be made into a public guide, that we will be releasing in Summer 2022 - so watch this space!
All of the stories gathered during these activities that people are happy to share publicly will be available here: https://communityreporter.net/euarenas