A practical guide to SenseMaker
The learning power of listening
Steff had the pleasure to co-author the first SenseMaker Practitioner Guide with a group of friends and colleagues supported and published by Oxfam and CRS. This practical guide is for those who wish to use SenseMaker to conduct assessments, monitor progress, and undertake evaluations or research. Drawing on more than a decade of experience, the authors share dozens of examples from international development, providing practical tips and ideas for context-specific adaptations. They show how the method can be used to for difficult-to-measure outcomes related to poverty reduction, social justice, peacebuilding, resilience, gender norms, behavior change, governance and environmental management.
SenseMaker is a unique participatory method of inquiry that encourages and enables novel insights not obtained from conventional quantitative and quantitative and qualitative methods. It is action-oriented and, therefore, well-suited for people needing data- informed insights for adaptive management.
"Writing this guide together with Irene, Veronica, Anna, Irene and Rita was an enormous learning process in itself and has further shaped our thinking and practice. We hope it will support first-time and experienced users to enhance their practice and that it will inspire people to explore and innovate further with the method."
‘Working with their inherent complexity requires seeing what is happening at the margins for small groups, as much as what is center stage for the majority. Such nuances matter. Listening deeply to many people’s experiences lays the foundation for learning together about options and choices’