Moments from the field: Continued advancement on the researcher’s guide to telling storiesMay 31st, 2012 | By bsalvarez | Category: Knowledge Management, Tools & Methods
By: Angela Melissa Gonzalez
Motivated members from CIAT and Sparknow met in Bogotá to make progress on a cherished project to develop an accesible story guide on how to collect context information and raw materials from the field.
Victoria Ward from Sparknow paraphrased story teller Svend Erik Engh stating that, “stories should be less like buffed and polished gems of organizational case studies, and more like driftwood, pebbles and shells you might pick up as you wander down the beach or along a river bank- something that appeals to you, that you’d like to have for a while, that you’ll eventually put back down and move on from as you comb for more things”.
Building on past ideas about how researchers might implement a guide to bring back moments from the field, CIAT and Sparknow members agreed that by opening an existing wiki-space, researchers may enter at their leisure and consult information regarding tips on interviewing, storytelling and collecting raw materials from the field. Now, in addition to the wiki-space, a simple, easy to use portable story guide will soon be available. The printable guide will aid researchers in organizing observations from their journeys.
Various tools can be used to bridge the knowledge gap between stakeholders and field researchers. With many organizations shifting towards a development focus, the story guide will provide an additional tool for researchers hoping to articulate their experiences and share knowledge in order to continue project advancement.
Researchers jetting from country to country will soon have guidance and ideas on how they might go about noticing and collecting the stories and anecdotes that bring data, events and topics to life at their finger tips to complement traditional field data and observations. The field guide will challenge researchers to use sounds, photos, stories and other materials in order to share experiences and engage others.
Sparknow’s Paul Corney, presented several possible templates that will make capturing moments from the field more intuitive. The guide will be available to a wide audience including CIAT researchers, the Borderlands project and other organizations looking to sharpen their field storytelling skills. This information will aid researchers in recounting their experiences after projects and organizing new ideas that arise from being out in the field.
These products were found useful by Simone Staiger-Rivas and Sophie Alvarez of the Capacity team for organizational communications across regions and to serve different groups in gaining a better perspective of what it means to be a part of CIAT. The guide will give researchers in other regions an opportunity to articulate their experiences and share insights quickly to other CIAT branches.