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Reflections on the training day

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

The purpose of the training days was essentially to familiarise us, the digital champions, with the project and our role within it - gathering (and analysing) stories from our communities to find out how they use digital health technologies and involve them in the future development of the technologies. After Paulina introduced us to the project and the nature of innovation, we started on an exercise to get us thinking about the potential impact of innovation (beyond the context of healthcare). In order to meet some of the other peer researchers, I moved to a table full of lovely people from another organisation and together we looked at the shopping of the future, focusing specifically on 3D printed clothing. The discussion was lively and at the end of the exercise we went through each group's work. It was interesting to see the perspectives the other groups had, though I briefly wondered if I had just misunderstood the task! Issues of trust came up repeatedly - perhaps this is something to be probed in our interviews?

The second exercise of the day brought us closer to the heart of the project and got us to think about the effectiveness of digital health technologies within our respective communities. It was quite telling that each group found a much longer list of problems with current offerings than benefits, which may point to issues with the way current products/services are set up, and only highlights the need for these technologies to be designed inclusively if they are to be useful to our communities! The second day involved quite a detailed look at the process of collecting stories, as well as analysing the information gathered. Neve Abgeller provided plenty of tips on how to speak to the people we will be interviewing, and gather the information sensibly. I found this part of the training particularly useful, as this sort of qualitative research is new to me. In the exercise that followed we interviewed each other in pairs, to try out some of the approaches that had been covered earlier in the day. I enjoyed the training days: meeting the other peer researchers, discussing the ideas surrounding the project and learning what I will need for the next phase. I am looking forward to finding out what the interviews (or clever conversations) will reveal, and to see how the final guide will influence future health innovation.

Jeremy Addo, African and Caribbean Community Initiative

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