Last week, Leapfrog brought together over twenty engagement practitioners to explore the challenges associated with translating engagement into evidence to inform decisions, reports or policy. The group included people who were completely new to Leapfrog, people who have attended our sharing events and partners from past projects from a range of organisations including the NHS, Councils in the North West, universities and youth and women’s organisations.

The workshop marks the beginning of a new major project for Leapfrog called Rigorous Stories. Rigorous Stories will explore how data and insights from creative engagement workshops, such as videos, presentations, stories, writing or drawing can be shared and reliably translated into a form that speaks to decision makers. Leapfrog will co-​design new tools and resources with selected engagement practitioners to help the results of engagement have a coherent voice in decision-​making and policy discussions, which will be made widely transferable and freely available.

In the workshop each engagement practitioner told us more about their organisation, including their purpose and vision, their reach and hopes for the future. Following this, they mapped and described their engagement process emphasising event what they do before, during and after activities to handle and translate data.

It was exciting to hear about the ways in which everyone engaged with different audiences, the challenges they faced and their initial ideas for tools to tackle these. Together we discovered that there were many similarities the challenges everyone faced, even though they were engaging with different types of people.  These were mapped as key themes emerged from the presentations and discussion. This included the responsibility of summarisation, the fate of data, reflection on success for the future and the dilution of passion from the participants.

Leapfrog is now analysing the information produced by the group, matching it against the project criteria so that a decision can be made on which engagement practitioner we will co-​design with in the new project.

We are looking for engagement practitioners who…

  • Regularly engage with individuals or groups of people to gather ideas, opinions and experiences
  • Use creative facilitation techniques or tools to enable people to express themselves
  • Pays close attention on process of translating/​analysing the data from creative consultations, workshops or focus groups to inform decisions, reports or policy
  • Have a project/​events coming up that Leapfrog can engage with to develop and test tools with in our project timeline
  • Are keen and have a real need for tools that translate engagement into evidence
  • Are part of an organisation with a wide reach (so tools have a good test bed)