New publication: The Challenge of Engaging Communities on Hidden Risks

Co-developing a Framework for Adaptive Participatory Storytelling Approaches (APSA)

Another paper just published from the DRY project, exploring how applied storytelling can support knowledge exchange and public engagement.

Please, read the abstract below.

The transdisciplinary Drought Risk and You (DRY) project aimed to interweave storytelling and science as a way of increasing the different voices and types of knowledge (specialist, local) within drought risk decision-making in the UK. This paper critically reflects on our emergent process of drawing across different methodologies to create Adaptive Participatory Storytelling Approaches (APSA). APSA enable more tailoring to people and setting than existing methods, recognizing the specificity of local risk contexts and communities, and in terms of social dynamics, cultural values and local knowledge. APSA are situated, storytelling methodologies applied in the social sciences and arts/humanities, giving strong attention to meaningful participation and sustainable coproduction in both process and outputs. The paper offers other researchers and practitioners insights into working with APSA as a suite of creative storytelling options prioritizing methodological principles of active listening and adapting. APSA require creative thinking along multiple spectra, including how to balance different axes in APSA including: topic (drought risk)-focused with topic (drought risk)-peripheral or oblique, participant-led with researcher-led, and visualization-led with audio-led. We reflect on the challenges, opportunities and values of co-working with APSA, and offer a flexible framework for its application and iterative evaluation embedded through the process. We propose this as a starting point for other transdisciplinary projects to tackle themes that prove difficult for communities to connect with during community-engaged research, in this case, hidden risks like drought and climate change. This is timely given the power and mounting popularity of storytelling for behavior change, research insight and policy, and the need to capture and share different knowledges for climate resilience.

Please, cite as: Roberts, L, Liguori, A, McEwen, L, Wilson, M. (2023). The challenge of engaging communities on hidden risks: co-developing a framework for Adaptive Participatory Storytelling Approaches (APSA), Journal of Extreme Events, ISSN: 2345-7376. DOI: