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2015 Claiming Citizenship, Vancouver Conference Presentation

 Building an interactive coaching tool to facilitate
the transition to Individual Funding

Annick Janson, Research Associate, Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research, Victoria University of Wellington and CEO, Ecosynergy Group, Hamilton, New Zealand.

This presentation outlined how collecting, analyzing and disseminating stories from Individualized Funding (IF) users can support transitioning to self-direction. A large body of evidence is emerging describing the Social Impact that this transition has created – through families reporting multiple ways of leading social change and making a difference in their communities whilst living a meaningful life. People sharing their stories often inspires others to act, and illustrates the transformation possible with individualised funding.

These video clips can be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/stories-building-capacity

Above: a summary video clip to illustrate these findings.

Aims of the presentation
1. Address the challenge of informing families
2. Develop Collaborative Learning Models between caregivers
3. Increase the effectiveness of professionals working with families
4. Illustrate the impact that Individualised funding has on people’s lives

Collecting stories: All 45 participants in a Consumer Leadership Development programme reflected on the novel ideas they explored whilst transitioning to IF. The researcher adopted a narrative interviewing methodology (Béres, 2014, White and Epston, 1990) specifically designed and tested to capture participants’ tacit knowledge (Janson and Davies, 2014). IF users described their first challenge: to understand their agency in shaping their ‘good life’ and grasp the range of the new options open to them.

Analysing stories:
This novel procedure involves processing video interview data through thematic analysis and subsequently post-producing it to best serve knowledge-building. Participants tell their stories in their own voice as opposed to through text summaries and have commented that they feel well represented. The knowledge that is important for people to share about Individualized Funding spans across four areas: Building natural supports/networks, Mobility and technology, A place to call home and Being productive.

Video narratives were embedded in an attractive flexible tool to be introduced in conversation and thereafter emailed to users learning from peer stories.

These stories also function to illustrate the transformational impact that using Individualised Funding has on people’s lives.

Sharing knowledge through stories is perceived as critical to build capacity in the disability sector, but there are significant limitations to this sharing happening face to face. Accessing peer stories electronically overcomes some of these limitations and enables people to be inspired into action. Our audience has commented on the fact that they engage with these video clips as the combination of sound and body language of people sharing what new opportunities opened up to them in the transition to self-direction has many advantages over text-based stories. Participants stress that this dissemination mode makes unique contributions over receiving information from professionals – peer stories contain ‘tacit knowledge’ viz. knowledge that is tried and tested’ (Nonaka and Teece, 2001).

Data collected and analysed via Google analytics help develop our understanding about how participants reach the video clips, the learning paths they follow after viewing them and how they gradually build their knowledge by following associated hyperlinks. The project infographics (attached) illustrates radically different learning paths for large subgroups in our audience. For instance, whilst 26% of our audience were emailed the story links, another 19% went on to listen to other stories from the referral end screen that YouTube offers when a story is finished, whilst a further 12% actively searched for such materials on YouTube. The latter two figures reveal that YouTube is a powerful engagement conduit for family story-sharing for almost a third of our audience.

This indicates how social media can contribute to our aims of distributing these stories - independently of any active dissemination effort on our part. Another point of interest is the rise of listeners’ numbers who access the YouTube stories via mobile devices (26% as opposed to an observed 15% a year ago).

We adopt Collaborative Consumption models (Botsman and Rogers, 2010) and plan to further describe how user-to-user knowledge spreads through social media, via the ever-increasing adoption of mobile devices.

This research, commissioned by Manawanui InCharge, New Zealand, produced an interactive multimedia tool designed to facilitate a challenging transition through the effective dissemination of targeted peer knowledge. Professional coaches can facilitate the adoption of this knowledge transfer tool by pointing families to those stories that are most relevant to them. This can potentially accelerate independent and efficient follow on capacity building processes.


Béres, L. (2014). The Narrative Practitioner. Palgrave Macmillan.
Botsman, R & Rogers, R. (2010) What is Mine is Yours. San Francisco: Harper Business.
Janson, A. & Davies, B. (2014) E-peer support to disseminate consumer voices in the disability sector. Presented at the Centre for Applied Disability Research (CADR) Conference, Sydney, May 26-27.
Nonaka, I. and Teece, D.J. (Eds) (2001), Managing Industrial Knowledge: Creation, Transfer and Utilization, Sage Publications, London.
White, M., & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative means to therapeutic ends. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.