FEB21 – Participation and Power, Understanding Vulnerability and Risk Activity

FEB21 – Participation and Power, Understanding Vulnerability and Risk Activity

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    • Jo Irvine

      February 25, 2021, 10:03 am

      I think depending on the project we have young people involved in all of the levels, but looking specifically at the project I am working on at the minute I think the young people have been involved from the designing how the project will work and how they will gather the views and opinions of other young people.

      There are a number of risked attached to the project such as, other young people not wanting to participate in completing the questionnaire of provide photos. by making the young people aware that this is their project and giving them not only the option but the voice to not engage is as important as the young person choosing to engage. But by providing all details on the purpose of the project and what it hopes to achieve we are at least providing the young people the opportunity to make an informed choice.

      Emotional risk and stigma. By putting in appropriate supports and allowing the young people to own what they share and how they share will make this less of a factor but also having a worker in place who can be there to be a sounding board for the young people and let them talk about their concerns/ worries without judgement .

    • Gabriella Solano

      February 25, 2021, 3:46 pm

      Consider 1: Participation. Based on the participatory ladder model above in which phase (planning, designing, delivery, dissemination) would participation be highest in your project? Is there anything you can do to increase participation in other phases of your project? Is that even necessary?

      I think participation would be present in each phase but highest in design and delivery. Since I work with young students I tend to do more the logistical planning such as when we will work on the project and for how long etc. but when it comes to design in delivery I really try to seek out their input and make sure they are key members of how the project unfolds and what we emphasize.

      Consider 2: Risks. Based on the list of potential risks. Identify 2 risks and vulnerabilities associated with your own project idea. You can also refer to the risk guidelines provided above.

      Biggest risks for my project are financial, judgement, and bullying. Many of my students are low income and live in high crime areas and so it is a risk to send them home with cameras that could potentially get taken. It is also a risk in any classroom that students will be judged or bullied for what they share.

      Consider 3: Providing a Safe Space. Consider some of the ways you might address some of these risks to safeguard your participants and to provide a safe working environment. You can use the file on creating a safe space as a reference point.

      For financial risk I make sure to discuss with students how to keep their cameras in their backpacks and recognize that students are already very savy about protecting their belongings since theft is prevalent in their communities many of their families teach them how to guard belongings and stay alert. As for cost of camera I sought out grant to cover cost. The bullying and judgment risk I think is impossible to fully avoid, but can be greatly reduced by setting up ground rules that emphasize respect and modeling that respect in facilitating conversations.

      Post all of these in the comments section below.

      • PhotoVoice Training

        February 25, 2021, 11:11 pm

        Hi Abbey,

        Sounds like there are a lot of things to consider and we have had projects in the past where cameras themselves were an issue for participants to own and even walk around with. So it sounds like your initial plan of keeping them in the classroom might also be a good idea. The bullying part is tricky but it depends on where photos will be shared. Would it be possible to make the photos anonymous in order to deal with some of the bullying issues?

    • Sofie Thorsen

      February 25, 2021, 4:11 pm

      Participation: INVOLVMENT is the highest level for the participants themselves in the current design, PARTNERSHIP is the higher form for the membership organisations through which we engage participants. As we attempt to involve a lot of different groups and will have many different partners in the project it is difficult to imagine that we can hand over more control on decision-making as we would not be able to give the deccision-making power to just one partner, but to multiple – potentially leading to them fighting with each other over defining the process, purpose and so on. We want to avoid that and have as much input as possible in co-creating it, while still taking responsibility for designing a process that is inclusive to all the groups we want to engage.

      Risks: Potential judgment between or within each minority group. Stigma/labelling and emotional risk might arise. Also, since we sample people based on their self-identified membership in different minority groups, we might see potential identity conflicts arise when the different groups meet: Someone who might be a member of an ethnic minority association might also be a sexual minority at the same time. So what happens to him/her/them and their self-understanding when they meet other participants from the sexual minority association that they are not part of officially, but that they might identify with. Issues of intersectional nature could arise. A sort of shaming of priviledge could also happen, if lets say a lot of black participants in the ethnic minority group have had bad experiences, while one brown partipant in that group hasn’t – that could occasion a kind of collective shaming of the participant who has ‘luckily’ steered clear of discriminatory experiences.

      Providing a Safe Space: Creating a safe space is all about trying to elimine exclusion and create a sense that all of these minority groups and their individual members have a place in our project and that their voices have value. In our design it is about first building an individual relationship to the member associations and getting their input on what it would mean to create a safe space for their members. Next, it would include meeting with the different groups one by one to create a relationship and understand their individual needs, worries and hopes.

      • PhotoVoice Training

        February 25, 2021, 11:16 pm

        Hi Sofie,

        Not every project can have participation taking place at every level and that is ok. The key thing is being aware and realistic in terms of where it takes place and when it takes place.

        In terms of risk we had a similar situation when working in a project in Myanmar and we have different groups working together which may have created some issues around associations and stigma but ultimately it was helpful as the different groups were also able to learn about each other and also perhaps reflect on their own prejudice against one another. One way you might want to deal with this is by keeping the outputs anonymous if there are any potential long lasting effects of a wider level of stigma.

    • Niamh Mclaughlin

      February 25, 2021, 4:33 pm

      The young people SHOULD be involved at all levels and an early objective of the project would be that they are involved at each level. HOWEVER, on past experiences.. facilitator can and does influence design and planning as well as dissemination with delivery the highest level of participation. This is possibly due to time factors, considering hoped for advocacy outcomes and representations from a project, as a facilitator I am thinking about what my manager, funders and stakeholders want to see from the project. This reduces the genuineness and quality of participation at the early and end stages. This is something that I work on and this module has helped me to refocus on this. Possibly a conversation for supervision and in a wider way within the organisation.

      Identity Risk: Young People who participate in any of our projects are will be recognised as having a lived experience of care
      Emotional Risk: Young people participating in my project will take a risk just by joining a peer group that may be unfamiliar to them. They may share experiences or just by being present they risk (potentially/ perceived) rejection and/or judgment).

      Ways to manage risk: contract which addresses concerns, hopes and fears. Set tone of mutual respect and kindness- model this and set this as a requirement of group- get a vote. Confidentiality and consent -sign and discuss individually and as a group.

    • Anne Foss-Durant

      February 25, 2021, 6:59 pm

      Because I am not a “local”, I plan on using a steering committee type structure, having a few participants involved in the planning, designing, and delivery. There is the possibility of a few methods of dissemination: publications, presentations, and a formal dissertation. I would include participants in the first two, the dissertation will be a solo effort under the guidance of the dissertation committee.

      I am focusing on exploring what is a success post hospital transition in an older adult population. Older adults in general can be a vulnerable population, some may have various levels of disability that create dependency on others. In addition, Kauai is a small close-knit island community of about 73,000 people. This increases the risk related to identity. In addition, there are potential participants may naturally want to recount or remember the hospitalization which could cause some emotional risk.

      If the restrictions around the pandemic are lifted, I would seek to have the workshop session in the conference rooms at the hospital. The location is central , with an easily accessible building that is serviced by the local bus and paratransit. If restrictions are not lifted, I will seek to have smaller groups in select community centers across the island. In Kauai, over 80% of the households have access to the internet, computers and smart phones making a hybrid of online and in person possible as well. It may be necessary to run a series of workshops, to accommodate schedules. Although older adults may not have work commitments, many reside in multigenerational homes and have other responsibilities, i.e., childcare.
      I would spend time talking about confidentiality, as we are a small community. I will work with a cultural liaison who can in bridging the language and cultural aspects of the participants. My preference is to use local facilitators who are also knowledgeable about the local culture.

    • Lee Kane

      February 25, 2021, 9:42 pm

      Consider 1: Participation. There’s a balance between facilitating opportunity and recognising the demands on participants. I get paid to do my job- the young people do not get paid to be part of the project. While we want to ensure that they are involved in all aspects of the project, from planing to evaluation, we must recognise our responsibility to them to support this process. In all projects such as this, the Project Steering Group is made up of young people. As staff, we work for them. This includes ensuring they are aware of the parameters of the project- usually connected to funder expectations. We usually had external professionals to advise the Steering Group.

      Consider 2: Risks. Due to the nature of our work, emotional risks are always an important consideration in our work. We recognise that different young people are at different stages in their care journey. Part of our role is to support them to understand and make sense of their experience. Identity, stigma and labeling are also key considerations. We seek to promote a positive image of care experience, but there is still some way to go on making this a reality. Some young people are open and proud about their care identity, while others are more private about this aspect of their lives.

      Consider 3: Providing a Safe Space. Support for young people is key, no matter what the activity. All young people have a name worker, and all staff are trained to support young people experiencing difficulties. As an organisation, we have developed training for young people on ‘Managing Care Experience’ (developed by Jo) to support young people explore their care identity and consider which parts of their story they are comfortable to share. We regularly remind young people about their ownership of their story, and reinforce that it is their choice what they share and what they keep private.

    • Barbara Sutton

      February 25, 2021, 10:16 pm

      Three steps for increasing participation in the Thriving Congregations initiative are 1) to establish a steering group that includes participants. from throughout the diocese, 2) provide the resources for this process and establish a realistic timeline, and 3) budget for training participants in media skills, digital skills and advocacy.

      The two risks that might emerge are community. The culture in Minnesota is known as “Minnesota Nice” where people avoid conflict and being different. There will be a risk for people if they sense they are speaking out about an issue, and the possibility of creating conflict or tension within communities.

      To create a safe environment is to set ground rules together and seek consensus on them. I will model the process as we go to build the confidence of the people in the work they will do. Then hopefully no one will feel foolish or put on the spot. I will scaffold the activities with fun and easy activities and after building trust increase the complexity of the task. People will have a choice to opt out. Have both written and oral instructions for people.

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