After gathering stories using the SenseMaker tool, Palm Health Foundation brings together community members, including local leaders and youth, to read the stories, form new insights based on what they read, and answer the question, “What can we do?”
This process is known as “sensemaking.”
In traditional research involving personal narratives, stories and responses to follow-up questions might be analyzed using various coding methods and statistical techniques. For example, a researcher might read each story, classify segments of each story, identify patterns and themes, and explore the relationships between these pieces to form overall conclusions. Conclusions originate primarily from this process, handed down from the researcher.
In contrast, sensemaking gives community members and local leaders the ability to interact with the raw data (the stories themselves and their interpretations by storytellers) and identify patterns and themes as a group.
Through the process of sensemaking, community members collectively give meaning to their experiences. The complex multitude of factors influencing life in each community develops into a shared narrative through dialogue evoked by the stories.
During the COVID-19 crisis, sensemaking sessions have been held virtually through Zoom. On average, about 30 to 35 community members participate in each session.
Explore the insights and ideas from our recent sensemaking workshops.
As the spring semester of 2020 came to a close, young people volunteering with Student ACES, a non-profit organization in the Glades, began discussing how they might help families using Palm Health Foundation's Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN)
Residents with mental illness in need of medication and children in need of help with homework were among the challenges tackled by Boynton Beach teens.
An April review of COVID-19 stories identified common concerns among residents, including the prospect of facing a massive utility bill following months of suspended payments.