This is where we tell a story about the "problem" and the multi-dimensional perspectives that led to our solutions. By reflecting at this phase, we are crafting narratives in a respectful and dignified way that resonates with the communities who are being represented, with relevant factors and forces being highlighted.
Consider who within your organization and from the community should be involved in answering questions in this phase.
Does our narrative foster deeper understanding of variations that exist within the communities impacted by the "problem" and our solution?
Do the stories we share about different communities and futures we describe reflect their values and priorities? How do we know?
How might our own biases and assumptions have influenced our decisions to highlight certain stories while deprioritizing others?
How might the narrative need to change to avoid tokenization of certain individuals, groups, or communities?
Alignment on the stories to be told
Are we highlighting how the factors and forces affect both people's experience of the problem and their engagement with our solution?
Are we representing people and their experiences in a meaningful and caring way, and without oversimplifying?
Framing of identity within context that is both clear and caring
Alignment on what details are meaningful to share
Mediums that might be used to tell the stories
Communications to close the loop with all community members engaged
To what extent narratives highlight individuality and meaningful factors
Does the narrative reflect authenticity, dignity, and respect for the communities impacted by this "problem" and our solution?
Are we describing communities by their strengths and aspirations before noting the challenges they encounter?
How are our biases or project pressures influencing the stories we’re telling?
Assumptions and biases to debunk through storytelling
Threats to successful equity outcomes
Narrative's ability to center people with respect and dignity, without tokenizing
Assessment of commitments to responsible practices made during earlier phases
Within Kaleidoscope, context refers to the environment or situation in which a product or service is used, as well as the broader domain in which it exists (e.g., accessing primary care in a rural area, which sits within the broader domain of healthcare.) Defining the context enables us to examine the dynamic factors and forces within it (including social structures, institutions, political factors, policies, people, technology, and personal circumstances, etc) that influence the experiences of individuals and groups differently.
Within Kaleidoscope, we're referring to identity as the many socially-constructed categories that are used to describe individuals and groups. These can include, but are not limited to, ability, age, appearance, education, ethnicity, gender, income, language, location, nationality, neurodiversity, occupation, race, relationships, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Identity can be fluid and change over time or in relation to others, with the various aspects of identity having more or less meaning to individuals as they move through different contexts and cultures.
Within Kaleidoscope, we're referring to factors and forces as the conditions or systemic structures that influence people’s experiences; these can include institutions, social structures, policies, people, technology, environmental and political factors, as well as individual circumstances that impact one's agency and access.
Within Kaleidoscope, we're referring to inclusion as the process of integrating perspectives and contributions from diverse communities, as well as the qualities and features of a solution that meet the needs of diverse communities. When realized, inclusion will be reflected in participants' felt sense that they have fully participated in, authentically contributed to, and belong in the research/design process, and that their needs are well met by the solution that results from that process.
Within Kaleidoscope, we're referring to communities/community members primarily as the people and groups who will be served or impacted by the product or service you are creating. Although people can share common needs, values, or goals, applying an intersectional lens helps us avoid oversimplification, homogenous labels, and limiting assumptions when we think about groups. (For example, in a group of parents, we would benefit from looking deeper to explore the experiences of mothers, and deeper still to learn about the experiences of mothers of color.) Sometimes you may work directly with community members, and other times you might work with community leaders and advocates who have established trust with the communities your solution is intended to serve.