Storyboarding is an enjoyable way of collecting in-depth qualitative data. Our team used storyboarding, together with survey questionnaires, to collect data from participants in the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Strategic and Results-based Evaluation of the Youth Leadership Development for Community Safety Training Intervention. Youth leaders and South African Police Services (SAPS) Coordinators (who are being trained as mentors for youth leaders) from the Youth Crime Prevention Desks (YCPD) and/or Community Policing Forums (CPF) in Eastern Cape and Gauteng are benefiting from this intervention.
In addition to pre-and post-course questionnaires, our team has introduced storyboarding to collect data on how youth and mentors are actually using the skills and knowledge gained through training in their projects. Storyboarding in this evaluation takes place through a two-phased, iterative process, which allows participants to:
• tell their stories in pictures and words;
• show progress with project implementation; and
• reflect on the importance of their projects as crime-prevention initiatives.
Predictably some participants initially resist the notion of drawing their stories, but interestingly it is often these participants who produce very interesting storyboards. We have also noticed that this methodology generates positive energy amongst the participants, and motivates them to continue with their work, which often takes place in challenging circumstances. Storyboarding allows participants to think systematically about their projects and what they try to achieve, and as an added benefit, group discussions of storyboards provide an opportunity to share knowledge and experience.
Storyboards are authentic records of projects that are implemented, as told through the imagery and words of project beneficiaries. It is a highly participative data collection tool and participants really own the data. Following requests from some participants that they would like to display their storyboards in their offices, CC&DW has agreed to return the storyboards to the participating police stations once the evaluation has been concluded.
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