Kenyan Fellows are set to become more competitive data analysts following training on how to use SenseMaker, a digital tool that allows users to combine statistics and narratives in order to create meaning.
This will equip them with a better understanding of food systems, their systems initiatives and leadership practices. The training was conducted in late July by Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation researchers Carlo Cucchi and Nina de Roo.
How SenseMaker works
SenseMaker allows Fellows to better understand the environment in which they work by gathering snippets of their day-to-day lives and combining that with their answers to thought-provoking questions about aspects of their work for example the nature of their tasks and their experiences with partners and collaborators).
Since November 2021, the Fellows have been prompted monthly to input personalised stories and respond to sets of carefully chosen questions and scenarios about their day-to-day experiences within their systems initiatives. The aim of the training session was to give meaning (in the form of useful data) to the information the Fellows had been sharing.
The fascinating session began with a brief analysis of the collated stories that the Fellows had shared shedding light on their priorities and preferences when it comes to the types of initiatives they are working on, their leadership practices, and the type of actors they prefer to work with. This session helped Fellows reflect on their leadership approaches, both individually and collectively.
“For me, the session was quite key in showing me my strengths and weaknesses as a leader,” says Aquaculture Fellow Justus Wanjala who was crucially reminded that self-awareness is integral to good leadership practices.
Patterns of choices and decision-making were likewise reviewed including how decisions inform whom to work with and what aspect of impact area to focus on. The trainers finally touched on the implications of these choices on the transformative potential of the food systems that the Fellows work within.
“It was useful in making me realise that as a group we need to put more effort in the meaningful growth of the sustainable environmental sector”, added Wanjala
Other than providing an interesting peek into the patterns behind Fellow’s thinking, SenseMaker has the potential to become a valuable source of collaborative learning about the leadership practices of Fellows in their food system impact areas and beyond. The next session will focus on the Rwanda Fellows and is scheduled for 15 September.