If you only read one thing this week…

Storytelling – a way to enhance the way we do our work? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
January 29, 2007, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Development theory, If you have 30 mins

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has recently issued a new publication entitled: Story Guide: Building Bridges Using Narrative Techniques. This concise document provides tips and techniques for using story-telling in our work.

Compelling stories can be a way to enhance our regular reporting. They can bring to life the facts and figures provided through our monitoring and evaluation systems. They can help us illustrate with more conviction the lives that hope to impact through our work.

I could see this guide being useful in several settings:

  • as a way to help participants/beneficiaries articulate better their own stories and/or the benefits and challenges of our programs and how they have affected their lives.
  • as a way to help our staff bring to life some of the things they see during regular field work and/or to talk about their own experiences.
  • as a way to enhance our regular reports and field studies.
  • and finally, it can be a means to enhance the way in which all staff represent our programs.

The guide provides: suggestions for ice-breakers that can make people feel more at ease about telling their story; guidelines for teasing out stories from indivduals; a structure for what makes a good story and then different techniques for story telling. The text is also nicely interspersed with examples of good storytelling and situations where some of these techniques have been used.


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