A common challenge for storytelling projects is that they – often inadvertently - overlook the experiences of some people, in particular people who are excluded or marginalised from health debates and health services. As a result storytelling projects may inadvertently present some consumer stories as though they represent the experiences of all consumers. This can further compound the exclusion of some people from services and policy-making.[21] To minimise this risk, you can plan to invite stories from diverse consumers. Decide who you need to hear from and consider the best way to reach people with whom you may not necessarily usually engage. For example, can you work with a partner organisation that has an established relationship with a particular cohort of people whose experiences you would like to better understand? What relationship might you need to build to better understand the situation of people you would like to talk to? What process would suit these people best? What does your project offer to them? If, despite your efforts, you are unable to engage people you have identified as appropriate participants, you should acknowledge that this is an area for further work, and that the decision you make has not been informed by direct engagement with some consumers.

References:

[21] Ball, Rachel (2013) When I tell my story, I’m in charge: Ethical and effective storytelling in in advocacy (Victoria Law Foundation: Melbourne), p50

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