Exploring agency and aspirations through participants stories and narratives

Pane Solis, Juan Carlos (1); Burt, Marie Claire (1); Hammler, Katharina (2) (2019). 'Exploring agency and aspirations through participants stories and narratives' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA 2019, London, UK.


In this paper, we present two innovative participatory research methods to explore how program participants experience empowerment in their lives to overcome poverty. First, we carried out a series of Client Journey Mapping exercises, in which participants created a fictional character and mapped her life story before, during, and after participating in the Poverty Stoplight program. Second, we carried out Group Dramas, in which participants wrote and enacted short scenes in the style of soap operas that depicted specific challenges that the Poverty Stoplight program, our case study, has helped them overcome poverty. The results of both research approaches are coherent and provide us with a rich picture of the empowerment experiences of program participants. Finally, both participatory approaches provide information about the journey participants went through from lack of agency to overcoming their deprivations.

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