Participation and Power, Understanding Vulnerability and Risk Activity

Participation and Power, Understanding Vulnerability and Risk Activity

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    5 Comments
    • Anjali Gupta

      March 25, 2021, 12:44 pm

      I think participants would be highest in the delivery part to the project. If I have understood this right, this would be because the planning, designing and dissemination would mainly be mine and other facilitator jobs. Where as the participants main role would be the delivery of the project. However, to get the participants more involved I could do workshops to explore ideas and projects aims and invite them to make more decisions based on what they want to do and how they want to be represented.
      As I do not have a project in mind, but two examples of previous risks that were faced when I conducted a workshop were, identity risk and uncertainty risk. The participants were not allowed to use images of themselves so they were not recognised. Also the uncertainty was because not all participants showed to each workshop so we were unsure what exactly the final outcome for the exhibition we’re going to be.
      Before doing a project I will understand who the participants are and what are the risks that can happen. But to create a safe space I will make sure they have filled out the content form, I would like to have someone in the workshop or on call, who the participants are more comfortable with like a social worker or someone they have previously worked with. I think the location of the workshop is important and that they feel safe there and easily accessible for the participants. Also to have a translator if they do not speak English. When doing the workshop, at the beginning to outline each part of the session what we will be doing and to do a big introduction of each facilitator.

    • Robin Postel

      March 25, 2021, 5:08 pm

      In the project I am thinking about, participation would be highest in the delivery phase. Ideally it would grow ever higher in the dissemination phase, of which we may have little possibility of engaging. So we have to design the planning and delivery phases to build as much aspiration and ownership as possible, planting seeds of things that can grow in dissemination.
      The biggest risk is the potential to cause harm. We work with intact teams of people that will continue to relate which each other after we are gone. This means taking great care in the design and facilitation of the delivery, especially if the issues we are focusing on create (or stem from historic) conflict within the group. Different participants have different kinds and levels of power (e.g. hierarchical, social, political) that we need to be sensitive to throughout the project. A second issue is that participation is expected, as part of the working contract that people have with their team or organization (as we specialize in the world of work).
      This is clearly related to creating a safe space. some of the points that stand out for me are:
      -Invite participants to share their work in the group, but don’t make it compulsory.
      -Always provide emotional choices to participants.
      Being mindful of language and what is appropriate in the work environment is also important. While we need to work with what is personally important to participants, they need to be free to decide where their own boundaries are around privacy.

    • Lauren Alessi

      March 25, 2021, 9:01 pm

      As I’ve been going through this training, I’ve been starting to think about a workshop idea involving other facilitators of writing workshops with incarcerated adults and youth. The project would involve university student volunteers and some community members who facilitate workshops in jail and youth facilities. While participation would likely be highest in the delivery and dissemination phase, I do anticipate that some participants would be interested in getting involved with the planning and design phase due to their interest in photography or being invested in increasing awareness about the writing workshops and their impacts.
      In my mind, one objective of the workshop would be to invite the group to reflect on the experience of volunteering, to think about the impacts of the program, and to make some sort of advocacy statement. The potential risks would be emotional and identity, among others. In terms of emotional, participants might feel vulnerable sharing challenges they experienced volunteering and/or other perceptions they have of incarcerated individuals. Similarly, participants might perceive a risk in sharing their experience or political views around incarceration which could be contentious.
      To create a safe space, I would hope to include participants in the planning so their concerns and risks are taken into consideration from the beginning. I would also try to provide a detailed outline and description of what activities might occur in the workshop to get participants primed to different questions that might come up. Lastly, in terms of prompts for the various activities, I would try and develop them in a way that left room for various levels of engagement. So depending on how deep, personal, or political a person felt comfortable with, the activities would still be accessible and meaningful.

    • Kate Melody Burmon

      March 25, 2021, 11:02 pm

      Consider 1: Participation. As I’ve gone through this course, I’ve been thinking more and more about the idea of decolonizing research, as it particularly applies to cultural heritage crime research. While I think it would be really challenging, I would love to try and find a way of planning a project that uses the highest degree of participation in the design. I think it would be easier to have higher degrees of participation at other stages, but I think that’s where part of the problem is stemming from in this kind of research. It would be challenging, but I think ultimately so revealing and valuable.

      Consider 2: Risks. One risk that could arise is that the project is ultimately revolving around crime. Thus, no matter who the participants are – criminals or people who want to protect cultural heritage from criminals – their identities would need to be protected. A lot of the most at-risk cultural heritage sites are in conflict areas. Even in places that are relatively safer, being a single, white, American female is not an ideal demographic and could potentially put participants at risk if they are known to be collaborating on a project.

      Consider 3: Providing a Safe Space. It would likely be useful to plan a project type that could be broadly utilized in multiple places. The research could start in areas with fewer risks to get a better sense of other, unforeseen, challenges, and then expand. Depending on the area, it might work better to have certain researchers on the ground and others remote. There might be ways to partner with other groups in the region unaffiliated with the project itself to share resources. Have the partner organization help generate ideas, as many would likely be more familiar with the risks and how they have been overcome when applied to other situations.

    • Sofie Mortensen

      March 26, 2021, 5:13 am

      I think my participation will be highest in the delivery phase, but I also really aim to make designing phase very participatory. For instance, while I have selected my area of focus for my PhD: Burmese migrants in Thailand, I will try to ensure that the participants are a part of narrowing the scope so that my research deals with the issues that are more important to them. This may of course very within the group. I am also thinking about how the dissemination phase can be more participatory, for instance, checking that my interpretation of photos and interviews are correct. I am also thinking how I can do my writing more collaboratively with local research assistants.

      I definitely think there is an emotional risk, which is a risk that I find quite hard to deal with. I really like that Photovoice has contact with social workers but I am not sure how I can ensure this in my work. When looking through the list of risks, I also thought about the identity one, that the participants are so much more than migrants, and have many other stories to tell which I will take into consideration in designing, delivery and dissemination.

      For safeguarding, a safe space might mean that the groups will be based on gender/ethnicity, but I will discuss this with my local partners. This might make it easier to choose the timing of the workshops, for instance as the schedule of women/men might differ. I am very aware that I will be taking a lot of the participants time, so I will think about how to best compensate them, could be economically, again I will consult with partners. I will make sure to thoroughly present my project and what I can and cannot offer, and ensure that I have informed consent from participants/parents.

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