What we do best

SenseGuide is in the field of SenseMaker practitioners one of the most experienced agencies around. Our expertise and approach have earned us the confidence of prominent institutions and organizations in the humanitarian, public and corporate sector. Our work in the international development sector comes from clients as BoP Inc., Cordaid, Enabel, Hivos, ICCO, Save the Children, Unicef and the World Bank. Clients in the public sector range from local governments to national governments and the European Commission.

Our goal is to utilize the rich context of narrative to inform sensemaking, but also to create objective data in which cognitive bias is minimized and we can place some reliance on the conclusions drawn. In particular, we want to be able to move rapidly from research to action in decision making, allowing the decision maker to move back and forth from an abstract representation of the field as a whole to the raw micro-narrative without mediating interpretative layers.

Understanding daily lifes with micro-narratives

Narratives and more specifically micro-narratives are a fundamental and ancient way by which humans interpret their experience and make decisions. SenseMaker provides the ability to capture and understand those narratives.

Through the web or app environment the software allows the capture of pictures, recordings and writing in various combinations to reflect how the respondents are making sense of the world.

Reducing cognitive bias with self signification

In a patented method, the respondent then interprets their own story into a series of abstract constructs (‘signifiers’) that feel more like a game than a survey, but allow profound meaning to emerge.

This interpretation adds layers of meaning rather than simply interpreting the story and provides quantitative data to detect visual patterns among stories. The patterns are linked back to the original material enabling a deeper dive into individual stories. If the researcher first look for patterns in the metadata using statistical or visual tools, he or she is less likely to be biased by content and prematurely converge on an interpretation.

Enabling action

The output of SenseMaker is statistical data backed up by explanatory narrative. This means that advocacy is an integral part of the system. Numbers on their own appear objective but are not persuasive; anecdotes on their own may be persuasive but are not objective.

SenseMaker puts the two together and provides a powerful means of persuasion. It also enables action. Instead of saying “How do we create a culture of X?” we say “How do we create more stories like this and fewer stories like that?” Then, as actions are initiated, we see the impact in real time.

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