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How we used the Sensemaker tool to work with complexity: learning from pioneering Public Health projects (12.30pm)

Join the 'Closing the Gap: developing improvers for a complex world' Q SIG to learn about projects using the Sensemaker narrative analysis tool in health projects.

28 Feb 2018

Online (Zoom call)

Public Health is a complex landscape that is difficult to navigate and make meaningful change in.

Esther Hall (Public Health Lead, Workplace Health and Wellbeing and Behaviour Change, East Riding) will share her experiences of using the Sensemaker narrative analysis tool to work with complexity. This tool – developed by Dave Snowden (alongside his influential Cynefin model: simple vs complicated vs complex vs chaotic) – shows promise for improving our understanding of what is needed, where, and who for.

The project team used Sensemaker to support a Parenting Strategy looking at preventing issues arising for parents through earlier intervention via existing structures (eg children’s centres), rather than allowing issues to accumulate disadvantage for parents and children over time.

Another project is looking at the use of Sensemaker to improve long-term physical activity in an area that has been resistant to engagement in the past. A new and deeper approach was needed. This Sports England project specifically used a co-produced approach, where outcomes may not be clear early on – and which might initially see a change mindset emerge rather than actual shifts in physical activity.

An RCT is also under way to test the impact of Sensemaker, in the context of a Mindfulness course. This will investigate the use of Sensemaker to uncover the nuances of what happens for individuals as they move through a course by gathering their experiences which are then mapped as a cohort.

Future research will test out how Sensemaker can reveal where the energy for change is and how this supports co-production by giving a rationale for when, where, who to work with, and how.

Esther is the convenor of a new Q SIG, ‘Closing the gap: developing improvers for a complex world’ (please join if you are interested – open to all).

This Zoom video-call is the kick-off meeting for the SIG.

Time: 12.30-1.30pm, February 28th. (NB you can log in from 12, if you want to check your mic/speakers)

NB A second meeting of this SIG will take place on March 27th: ‘Can we better enable transformative improvement – by understanding Adult Development?’, with Sofia Kjellström (of Sweden’s Jönköping Academy for improvement of health and welfare).

Call details:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or iPhone one-tap:   United Kingdom: +442036950088,,801106438#

Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

United Kingdom: +44 (0) 20 3695 0088

Meeting ID: 801 106 438

International numbers available: