TalkFutures: Supporting Qualitative Practices in Distributed Community Engagements


Community engagements are qualitative processes that make use of participants local knowledge for democratic decision-making, but often exclude participants from data analysis and dissemination. This can mean that they are left feeling that their voice is not properly represented in the final output. This paper presents a digital community engagement process, TalkFutures, that actively involves participants in the production, distributed analysis and summarization of qualitative data. The design of TalkFutures was explored through a five-week deployment with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as part of a consultation designed to inform future strategy. Our analysis of deployment metrics and post-deployment interviews outline how TalkFutures: (i) increased modes of participation across the qualitative workflow; (ii) reduced barriers to participation; and (iii) improved representation in the engagement processes.

ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS ’20)
Jay Rainey
PhD Student