NWO researchers learn how to write stories of change


  • Tailor-made workshop on how to write and share stories of change
  • Participants: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) researchers in Jordan
  • Client: NWO-WOTRO

A Happy Early Marriage

“I am Siham and I live in a village near Irbid. I come from Syria and I am married and have five children, two girls and three boys, one of them is disabled. My husband works in tiling and painting. We married when we were very young and love each other. I like to learn English.”

This is a quote from a story written by a senior researcher responsible for one of the NWO WOTRO SRHR research projects Jordan. In February 2019, she participated with 15 colleagues from all over the world in the ‘stories of change’ workshop in Amman.

Adaptive learning
Elaborating stories of change helps researchers to identify key turning points and research insights and turn them into attractive and informative presentations and publications. Lessons that can be shared not only within the team, but also with partners, funders, policy makers and other external stakeholders. This way they can contribute to adaptive learning within the entire system.

Change is fundamental in a story. If things go static, stories die.

Guided writing
Participants engaged in a guided, step-by-step writing process. This enabled them to identify all the elements that are relevant to their story. They practiced different story telling techniques – writing the outside story, writing the inside story, reading out loud, flashing out dialogues, using visuals – and also learned how to present their stories in attractive and convincing ways. The design of this workshop is inspired by the Barefoot Guide writing method.

“Since then Siham has become one of the key figures in our project. She opened the doors of her house for women in the area, hosting the PAR (Participatory Action Research) meetings. She is also interviewing. And her English has improved. Siham’s story shows that the participation of Syrian women is crucial in a research project like ours.”

More info about stories of change: