Great questions. Our methodology is tailored to positively impact self esteem and communication skills, which we see as being very closely linked. When someone feels heard, they also feel respected. They see that their voice matters, their ideas matter, and they matter. 100% of our project and training participants have self-reported an increase in self-esteem, confidence in speaking in front of others, and increased interest in civic engagement as a result of participating in our programs. On another level, by collecting stories in their communities, we see these young people gaining an interest in their communities and wanting to be leaders. So, rather than trying to teach "leadership skills", we are coaxing the leader in each young person to emerge as they learn, share, heal and listen. To measure the impact on self-perception and confidence, we are using results-based accountability to measure skills and some elements of self efficacy, as well as the empowerment evaluation method, which the youth co-define with the evaluation team. The data and products from our projects have also impacted local policy and generated positive media. Part of our strategic plan is to collaborate with evaluators to define specific metrics for narrative change work, both at the individual level for both project participants and those who interface with our products, as well as broader impact on policy, programs, and perceptions of community members.
You got it! Thank you for your wise words. We are intrigued by the neuroscience of story, and how stories create meaning, connection, and healing by their very nature. By creating a space where stories can be safely shared, we create the space for healing, connection, and empathy - and therefore, change. Thank you for your interest!
Thank you! Your input is very helpful. We describe our impact as a ripple effect. First, there are the youth who become members of our interview team. We have measured the impact on their self-perception, communication and career skills via pre- and post-project surveys. 100% of our project participants have reported an increase in confidence, speaking in front of others, and feeling connected to their peers and/or community, in addition to skills such as videography, conducting interviews, and critical thinking. In terms of community impact, our programs and products have been used to inform the City of Oakland's public safety plan, and our Griots of Oakland exhibit and youth presentation is directly responsible for the Alameda County Office of Education's decision to shift their primary focus to equity in 2014-15. Oakland Police Department created a youth connection program as a direct result of our Project BACK, which brought youth and police officers together to share stories and collaborate on policy reform. Our current collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, which will culminate with a jointly produced data report next month, is helping them consider new ways of collecting data and engaging their communities through storytelling and oral history, as well as motivating them to hire translators and invest in discovering the thoughts and needs of those who are hardest to reach, such as undocumented minors. We are currently working with evaluators to define metrics for measuring narrative change. In addition to measuring positive media mentions, we are also looking to measure the shift in perception of product users as well as policies that change or are informed by our work. As pioneers in the narrative change field, we are eager and excited to work with evaluation experts to refine not only our process, but the process of evaluating narrative change in general.